The investigation links Abinader to two companies in Panama, Littlecot Inc. and Padreso SA, created before he assumed the presidency and used to manage assets in the Dominican Republic.
According to the investigation of the portal El Informe con Alicia Ortega, the shares of these companies were initially “to the bearer”, an instrument used to hide the beneficiaries of the companies.
“Abinader, according to these inquiries, was publicly registered as a beneficiary in 2018, three years after a law came into force that obliges companies to disclose the identity of their owners,” reviewed the Spanish newspaper El País, which uncovered the current scandal.
Upon his inauguration, Abinader declared nine offshore companies that he controlled through a trust, although he denied that he had any participation in their administration.
Both he and his Chilean counterpart, Sebastián Piñera, used the Panama-based law firm OMC Group, the same firm of which Colombian singer Shakira is a client, for at least three of the offshore companies investigated by the Treasury in Spain years ago.
In addition to Abinader, the recently exposed Pandora’s Papers point to 35 heads and former heads of state, including current presidents Sebastián Piñera (Chile) and Guillermo Lasso (Ecuador), and more than 330 high-ranking officials and politicians in 91 countries.
In particular, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Brazil’s Minister of Economy Paulo Guedes, singers Julio Iglesias and Shakira and coach Pep Guardiola are implicated.
In 2016, the ICIJ leaked the so-called Panama Papers, 11.5 million documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which revealed that political leaders and world personalities hired the services of this law firm to create offshore companies allegedly to evade taxes.
The documentation involved several personalities, among them 148 politicians from 50 countries, and due to the economic and reputational damage caused by this data leak, Mossack Fonseca was forced to cease its activity last March.