EXCLUSIVE: Which senior NZ Politician is about to have a Panama Papers scandal eruption?

By   /   June 22, 2016  /   61 Comments

question-mark

The tip line is running hot with a major scandal brewing that links a senior NZ Politician to the Panama Papers.

The story is being worked now by experts and expect a firestorm to erupt once it’s published.

You heard it here on TDB first.

***
Want to support this work? Donate today
***
Follow us on Twitter & Facebook
***

61 Comments

  1. Could it be, would it be ?

    I reckon he is far to shifty for it to be him .

    • Tiger Mountain says:

      “you know who” aka our glorious leader? if only… but, heh, make it so…

    • Sam Sam says:

      Please at the very least let it be a National MP 🙂

    • reason says:

      Could it be dishonest John ? ……….. “Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I cannot confirm whether the Bahamas is a tax haven or not—I simply do not know.”
      **************************************
      “Rt Hon Winston Peters: How can he stand by his statements yesterday that New Zealand “is not a tax haven” and that we “also have an extensive disclosure regime”, when specialist law firms on trusts for foreigners point out there is no need for disclosure of identity, or trust registration, or for any such trust accounts to be audited?

      Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Because I am right.”

      **************************************************

      “Andrew Little: Will he join me and release his tax records to dispel rumours that he has benefited from the use of tax havens?

      Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Firstly, there are no rumors ”

      **********************************************

      “Andrew Little: How does he reconcile his claim that his close personal adviser had assured him that he had no links with Mossack Fonseca with today’s revelations that show that Mr Whitney has had dealings with that firm?

      Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Firstly, I have got no responsibility for Mr Whitney or any other New Zealander. But I stand by the statements that I have made”

      **************************************************

  2. save nz says:

    Can’t wait!

    • Chooky says:

      +100…jonkey is my bet

      • CLEANGREEN says:

        Shit I have to go and have a cold bath I’m burning up with excitement!!

        Is it the wormy Bill English he’s been awfully quiet lately.

        • Chooky says:

          +100 to “wormy Bill”… “he’s been awfully quiet lately”… it has to be someone in the money …but not too slick with hiding their money…the really preternaturally cunning and crooked would have hidden the dosh overseas in an American Bank ( does Goldman Sachs have shares?) or a Swiss bank…my guess is a dumbie like…Car..r…or deviously obtuse like J..ce….or nouveau riche like Co…s

          …or anyone slicko in ACT

          …heaven forbid anyone in the Maori Party

          …or maybe D..ne done something stupid

          • gsays says:

            It would be stink if it was a doofus like mccully.
            There’s already so many black marks against his name.

  3. mosa says:

    Let’s hope it’s one of the Nasty Nats.
    A nice midwinter Xmas gift.

  4. Did they give a timeline for their reporting?

  5. Nailed says:

    Well considering you’re involved bomber, this will fizzle out quicker than a match stick in the pacific ocean.

    • Bert says:

      It will fizzle out just like the honest immigrants financially supporting National, that are being arrested and sent back home for embezzlement. Oh wait a minute…. ?

      • Words says:

        hee hee hee…Nice one Bert !

      • Nailed says:

        Yip good point – hey can you remind what exactly Bomber has achieved in the last…… 8 years?

        • Sam Sam says:

          Why should any one remind you of something. Can’t you use google?

        • Ross Clark says:

          You could be right Nailed- but is that because of the content – or is it because most folks, for multiple reasons, are not aware of the issues raised?

        • Sally's Husband says:

          “NAILED says:
          JUNE 23, 2016 AT 4:10 PM
          Yip good point – hey can you remind what exactly Bomber has achieved in the last…… 8 years?”

          Well, for one thing, Nailed, he’s set up this blog so you can post your BS on it.

          Any other silly questions?

  6. mary_a says:

    Thanks Martyn.

    A senior NatzKEY politician no doubt?

  7. tinhat says:

    Click-bait headlines now Martin?

  8. reason says:

    Our Government under Key seems to be aiding and abetting corrupt overseas Government officals steal from their people.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/305215/brazilian-hid-money-through-nz-firm

    .,…”used a New Zealand trust company run by people featuring prominently in the Panama Papers and tax haven organiser Mossack Fonseca, to hide millions of dollars in bribes involving the state-run oil company Petrobras.” ….

    **********************************************

    Key has also hand picked his own judge John Shewan to whitewash our tax haven, this is the famous man who designed an attempted $2.2 billion tax fraud product,…. used by the aussie banks against New Zealanders … $2.2 billion

    “I’m furious. That is 10 hospitals or 100 schools or the entire budget deficit forecast for the year just finished. If I stole that much money I would be public enemy number one and rightly so.”

    “Rt Hon Winston Peters: What would qualify John Shewan to do the job that the public is requiring now—or to fit the Prime Minister’s description of being an expert—when he has been heavily criticised by the Supreme Court of New Zealand and the Court of Appeal of New Zealand, and his views were dismissed by a court as high as the Privy Council in London?”

  9. darth smith says:

    It wo u ld be to good if it was he who cant be named

  10. Mike in Auckland says:

    It better be EXPLOSIVE, dear friends, we need some explosive event.

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      Mike in Auckland it all happened in your patch mate, Probably tied to the senior politician we are yet to hear about, and it is probably due to an automatic suppression order by you know who!!!!!!

      JK?

      • Mike in Auckland says:

        I have very explosive stuff also, but it cannot be released yet, we are hoping also, a different issue altogether, the courts, or at least the new Ombudman take a serious interest.

        This country, this government, this society is so damned full of pure ROT, most out there that are blissfully ignorant, they have NO idea of what goes on behind the scenes.

  11. countryboy says:

    Oooooooh !! How exciting ! I bet the bastard’s writhing in his/her warm,fancy bed wishing they were instead homeless on a cold street under a carboard box. Oh, the irony that would be.

  12. CLEANGREEN says:

    Bruce Sheppard the political lobbyist operated NZ Trust Ltd;
    A NZ structure helped man hide millions
    Wasn’t this Auckland Company frequented by the PM?

    Here is RNZ tonight.

    “Procopio had employed another New Zealand company Trustee.net.nz to form Santa Tereza Services and its UK based general partner, Santa Clara Private Equity LLP. Procopio told them that he wanted to build a hotel for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

    Bruce Sheppard – a well-known accountant and champion of cleaning up board rooms in a former role as chairman of the Shareholders Association- and is a director and shareholder of Trustee.net.nz.”

    RNZ’s Gyles Beckford, Patrick O’Meara, Jane Patterson, One News’ Lee Taylor, Jessica Mutch, Andrea Vance, & Nicky Hager*

    EXCLUSIVE – Panama Papers NZ – Locked up in a Brazilian prison, accused of bribery in one of the country’s biggest corruption scandals, Joao Procopio saw one way out.

    He struck a deal with prosecutors. In return for his release last year, Procopio spilled the beans on how he’d moved almost $30 million in kickbacks offshore.

    Swiss bank accountants and loose tax rules in a number of countries allowed him to hide the money trail.

    One of those countries was New Zealand – Procopio set up a limited partnership called Santa Tereza Services, registered to an Auckland address.

    Panama Papers NZ – Read our full coverage

    The firm was part of an intricate structure of offshore companies now implicated in a huge Brazilian bribery scandal – known as Operation Car Wash – and a controversial bid to redevelop an African port.

    Procopio worked for a fixer and currency dealer called Alberto Youseff, who is also accused of helping construction company Construtora OAS funnel bribes through offshore accounts.

    Their office in Sao Paulo was raided by police in 2014. A huge tranche of incriminating documents – including Swiss bank account statements – revealed the link to Santa Tereza Services.

    Leaked documents from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca appear to detail one such deal. In 2013 Santa Tereza was used to make two unexplained payments related to a bid to win the $400 million contract to redevelop Walvis Bay port in Namibia.

    OAS was in the running for the multi-million dollar bid. The money – a payment of $US1 million, and another of $50,000 – went through a Panama company, registered to former Trinidad and Tobago politician Ken Emrith.

    Mr Emrith also worked for OAS in the Caribbean.

    The payment was supposed to be for a technical study which would determine the price of the port development.

    But Santa Tereza’s transactions were raising eyebrows.

    How it all unravelled

    Procopio had employed another New Zealand company Trustee.net.nz to form Santa Tereza Services and its UK based general partner, Santa Clara Private Equity LLP. Procopio told them that he wanted to build a hotel for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

    Bruce Sheppard – a well-known accountant and champion of cleaning up board rooms in a former role as chairman of the Shareholders Association- and is a director and shareholder of Trustee.net.nz.

    Mr Sheppard said after a while Procopio was slow to provide statements and in 2013 they became concerned about “transactions within the bank accounts that were not in line with what he undertook these structures would be used for.”

    The hotel never materialised, so Trustee.net.nz raised the alarm with authorities. However Anti-Money Laundering laws mean we can’t publish any details.

    Meanwhile, Mr Emrith’s bank was also worried about the payments.

    The Bank of St Lucia International (BOSLIL) unexpectedly closed his account and refused to allow the first transaction in August 2013.

    The offices of law firm Mossack Fonseca in Panama City.
    The offices of law firm Mossack Fonseca in Panama City. Photo: AFP

    The Panama Papers show Mossack Fonseca’s New Zealand agent, Daniel Leon, desperately advocating on his behalf.

    Emails went back and forth between the bank’s compliance department and Mossack Fonseca.

    BOSLIL wanted to know what Mr Emrith’s company was doing and an explanation for the cash. Mr Emrith – through Mossack Fonseca – supplied a technical study on the Namibian port to the bank and a contract with Santa Tereza and was eventually paid in late 2013.

    In the end, the Namibian government rejected the bid by OAS.

    Mr Emrith didn’t respond to our requests for comment.

    NZ regime needs to change – Sheppard

    Mr Sheppard said Procopio presented as a plausible client – and they went to extra lengths to prove he was legitimate.

    He said Procopio was introduced to his UK-based partner by “an international banker of repute” and a Brazilian barrister vouched for the business man.

    “Initial inquiries in the Brazilian economy indicated this man to be well-qualified, wealthy in his retirement years, holding public company directorships, in short a respected business person.”

    Mr Sheppard’s partner even went to Brazil to meet Procopio. “And of course we cited all of the identification documentation that was required under the anti-money laundering [regulations].”

    He said Trustee.net.nz was “not a shareholder or a manager…we had no involvement in any of the transactions of the structure. It is like a lawyer forming a company.”

    The firm’s staff chased Procopio to comply with regulations, Mr Sheppard said.

    “It is very difficult when you have someone who looks respectable at the front end of the business, who is making the right noises about doing proper and decent business, that then suddenly goes quiet.”

    Mr Sheppard said Trustee.net.nz was formed to help ex-pat Kiwis returning to New Zealand. “But what we also found is that these structures are a cowpat – they attract flies.”

    He said the New Zealand regime can still work – he wants all firms to publicly disclose their financial accounts on the Companies Office website, which is not the case now.

    “In New Zealand, these entities have complete secrecy and sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

    Cabinet ministers are expected to receive a report on foreign trusts tomorrow, and Prime Minister John Key has signalled the disclosure rules may be tightened.

    Santa Tereza Services was de-registered in July last year. A spokesman for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said it did not comply with rules that require a general partner live in New Zealand.

    “Neither the Registrar nor MBIE had any knowledge of the activities of Santa Tereza and, therefore, no investigation was undertaken,” the spokesman said.

    IRD refused to say if they were investigating Santa Tereza Services or Trustee.net.nz.

    A spokesman cited privacy reasons. “These types of questions all fall under the taxpayer secrecy provisions in the legislation we operate under, so we’re unable to comment.”

    *The investigation into New Zealand links in the Panama Papers is a journalistic collaboration by reporters from RNZ, One News and investigative journalist Nicky Hager, and with the assistance of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung.

  13. Geoff Lye says:

    It couldn’t be Judith Now could it :-(.

  14. CLEANGREEN says:

    Bruce Sheppard a Dirty Politics man was tied up with Collins and Slater!!!!!! to get Hochen remember. Judith Collins a back Bencher again!!! or more to the point was Key slack and wreckless at keeping Colllins in Government?

    Judith Collins resigns: The money men and how they toppled …

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/…le.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11316800

    High-profile Kiwis likely … member Bruce Sheppard, high-profile lobbyist and PR … Hotchin was at the time under investigation from the SFO and FMA for his …

    Judith Collins resigns: The money men and how they toppled her

    5:00 AM Sunday Aug 31, 2014

    Election 2014
    NZ National Party
    Politics

    High-profile Kiwis likely to be dragged into investigation over smear campaign.

    An inquiry into Judith Collins’ downfall is poised to investigate links between former Hanover boss Mark Hotchin and right-wing bloggers who waged a smear campaign against ex-Serious Fraud Office (SFO) chief executive Adam Feeley.

    The top-level investigation is set to drag in numerous prominent New Zealanders.

    They include property developer Tony Gapes, Shareholders’ Association founder and former Financial Markets Authority (FMA) member Bruce Sheppard, high-profile lobbyist and PR agent Carrick Graham and Cameron “Whaleoil” Slater.

    Collins resigned yesterday as Justice Minister after a leaked email from Slater claimed she had been “gunning” for Feeley while she was minister in charge of the SFO.

    She will remain as MP for Papakura and is set to stand in the general election.

    Further emails, expected to be released today, are believed to show Graham – who was at one time employed by Hotchin – and another right-wing blogger, Cathy Odgers, alias Cactus Kate, were behind attacks on Feeley.

    Read more of our coverage:

    • I’m the victim of a smear campaign: Judith Collins resigns
    • Resignation reaction: ‘Too little, too late’
    • The email that brought down Judith Collins
    • Collins resigns: Blogger backs mate
    • Collins resigns: Jared Savage and Fran O’Sullivan respond

    As former managing director of Hanover Finance, Hotchin was at the time under investigation from the SFO and FMA for his role in the failure of Hanover in 2008.

    Continued below.

    Related Content

    Winston Peters is the winner of the week. Photo / APN
    Patrick Gower: Voodoo and madness of King Winston

    John Key has announced the resignation of Justice Minister Judith Collins, effective immediately.
    Video

    Key announces Judith Collins’ resignation

    Joe Karam. Photo / Brett Phibbs
    NZ better off without Collins: Karam

    Labour leader David Cunliffe repeated his call to PM John Key to sack Judith Collins.
    Video

    Cunliffe: ‘ Sack Judith Collins’

    About 16,000 people with investments totalling more than $500million lost most of their money following the failure of Hanover and related companies and the sale of assets to Allied Farmers.

    Correspondence obtained by hackers who targeted the Whaleoil site showed Slater and Odgers were working together with Graham to attack Feeley while he was responsible for investigating Hanover Finance.

    The email released yesterday set out plans to discredit Feeley and was sent to a “Mark”.

    Several sources claim that was Hotchin.

    It was also sent to a “Carrick” – Carrick Graham who was representing Hotchin at the time.

    Collins denied any knowledge of the smear campaign, instead claiming she had been the victim, but was forced to resign after a series of controversies just three weeks out from the general election.

    Slater wrote a series of highly critical blogs about Feeley in late 2011.

    They covered allegations that could have damaged Feeley’s reputation in the eyes of the public.

    On October 7, 2011, he wrote a series of blogs titled “Staff Issues at the SFO”.

    One had claimed 23 staff had left the department at that time during his tenure.

    Slater had written: “What sort of cowboy culture has been bred by Five Fingers Feeley at the Serious Fraud Office?”

    It is understood emails to be released will show pressure was exerted on the SFO and the FMA to close their investigations into Hanover.

    Odgers was a figure in the Dirty Politics book and last week her Hong Kong-based employer Jeeves Group confirmed she was no longer a consultant for them “by mutual consent”.

    It is understood that decision was linked to emails being released by the hacker today, which are expected to show the bloggers were being paid to discredit Feeley.

    Slater says he “embellished” references to Collins in the damning leaked email that led to her resignation as a minister.

    Last night Slater revealed he would lay a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner over Prime Minister John Key releasing the email that led to Collins’ resignation.

    He claimed Key had “breached my privacy”, a charge he also aimed at Dirty Politics’ author Nicky Hager.

    Graham said he would not comment.

    “I don’t discuss who my clients are or the work I do for them. Facilitate is a private company and that’s all there is to it.”

    In a statement last night State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie said he was “extremely concerned” at the suggestion that Collins had undermined Feeley.

    “It is important that chief executives and ministers mutually support each other to carry out their respective roles.

    “I am therefore extremely concerned by an allegation that a minister has associated with third parties to discuss influencing my assessment of a Public Service chief executive. If true, this would be wholly unacceptable.”

    Gallery: Judith Collins – a career in pictures

    Gapes, a former close friend of Hotchin, was also among the victims of the smear campaign.

    Gapes was shocked to find he was fingered in a smear campaign to undermine his credibility as a potential witness against the troubled Hanover company. “A lot of it is all falling into place now,” said the Auckland developer.

    Gapes said he went from being a developer with a low media profile to suddenly appearing in a constant stream of negative stories.

    “It was obvious I was someone Hotchin was worried about when he was being investigated by the SFO,” said Gapes.

    Sheppard last night said emails between Graham and Slater revealed plans to deliberately target him.

    The emails were sent at the same time as the former Shareholders’ Association president was involved in defamation against Hotchin and fellow Hanover boss Eric Watson.

    One of Collins’ most relentless opponents, Joe Karam, says the country is better off with her out of Cabinet.

    “May she be long banished to the backbenches,” Karam said.

    The SFO did not gain enough evidence to prosecute anyone associated with Hanover.

    Hotchin and five others, including Watson, will face a High Court trial next year after they pleaded not guilty to civil charges brought by the FMA.

    Good, bad and murky views

    Opinion was split in Papakura when the Herald on Sunday visited the electorate shortly after Judith Collins’ resignation was announced.

    “I’m very upset about it, actually, because she’s such a good minister,” said John Smith.

    Christine Baty was also unshaken in her support for the embattled MP. “We need somebody stirring and feisty,” she said.

    “She’s in your face. I like having somebody like that there.”

    But Sanjay Arora said her resignation was “about time”.

    “She should have been sacked earlier. I don’t know why John Key took so much time.”

    Rita Rai said she voted for Collins at the last election but would not do so again.

    “Things have been a little too murky.”

    The Dirty Politics scandal has tarnished Collins in Danny Cairns’ view.

    “When she first started I actually thought she was quite good, even though I didn’t vote for her. After what’s happened over the last few weeks, I’m glad she’s gone.”

    Tweeters twitch over minister

    Judith Collins’ resignation created plenty of debate on social media, especially Twitter where the #judithcollins hashtag proved popular.

    Lizzie Marvelly @LizzieMarvelly:

    “So Slater was basically bragging with puffed up claims in the email. What a silly little man. Why you would associate with him is beyond me.”

    Imperator Fish @ImperatorFish:

    “BREAKING: Judith Collins removes all mirrors from her house, as she begins hunt for the person who destroyed her career.”

    James Elliott @JamesElliott8:

    “I agree with Slater – Judith Collins death by a thousand cuts, all self-inflicted.”

    Lew @LewSOS:

    “BREAKING: Judith Collins has unfriended Cameron Slater on Facebook; relationship status changed to “it’s complicated”.”

    Greg Boyed @GregBoyed:

    “If nothing else after #JudithCollins resignation you’d have to look back with head shaking awe at the stickability of Hekia Parata.”

    Russell Brown @Publicaddress:

    “So: mindful of the polls, they needed a pretext to dump Collins, but it couldn’t come from Hager’s book. So this email turned up. Amirite?”

    Barry Soper @barrysoper:

    “Emergence of the Collins execution email convenient for Nats given opinion polls overwhelmingly said she should go!”

    – Herald on Sunday

    • Words says:

      Excellent posts Cleangreen !!

    • Doug says:

      Collins can’t be sacked can she, because wouldn’t that force a by-election and that would mean national lose the majority?

      Besides Martyn always cries wolf, talks up relatively small things that don’t eventuate to much… I’m not expecting a big story, as much as I would love it

  15. David See-More says:

    Nothing to see here people – move along.

    National, ACT, United Future and the Maori Party are all above reproach and this sort of sleazy headline is the sort of “dirty politics” that the left accuse National of.

    And if ACT can’t work with National because they are Fonseca corrupt, then ACT should look to the left for coalition partners.

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      I suppose you will then now call yourself David See No More, am I right?

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      Why would the Left do that ?

      Act is dead and neo liberalism is breathing its last parasitic gasps. Why would the Left want to be associated with a cancer like Act ? … it would only tar the Left with shit.

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      I am amazed you ultra right winger considers us as “people”?

      YES THIS HAS LEGS & RAMIFICATIONS ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP AS WE UNDERSTAND SOME SUPPRESSION ORDERS ARE IN PLACE OVER RELEASING OF OTHER CONNECTIONS TO THIS WEB OF CORRUPTION?

      • darth smith says:

        can the information be leaked off shore ie Bahamas based wed site??

      • elle says:

        Cleangreen probably JK working out his strategy to blame the left as he always does.

        • Winnie says:

          It is the left’s fault.

          Nothing to see here to damage the right, because the problems were initiated under Nanny Helen, 1 The United Nations, 405 East 42nd Street, New York, NY, 10017, USA

          And you might possibly say that I was told to write this on behalf of the coalition, but I heard it from a high-ranking ex-Labour member.

          But I couldn’t possibly comment.

    • Mike the Lefty says:

      You tell ’em ferret face!

    • Words says:

      Surely you jest, and making a joke DSM, by being sarcastic, right?

    • Sam Sam says:

      So ACT is finaly coming home

    • reason says:

      nothing to see here? ……. ““Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I cannot confirm whether the Bahamas is a tax haven or not—I simply do not know.”

      yeah right

  16. Jack Ramaka says:

    Is New Zealand a Tax Haven or is it not?

    This issue appears to have gone quiet in MSM recently Mike Hoskings is getting more attention in the media.

    How much do taxpayers actually pay Mike Hoskings, for us having to listen to his dribble how fantastic John Key and the National Party is?

  17. Jack Ramaka says:

    Is New Zealand a Tax Haven or is it not?

    This issue appears to have gone quiet in MSM recently Mike Hoskings is getting more attention in the media.

    How much do taxpayers actually pay Mike Hoskings, for us having to listen to his dribble how fantastic John Key and the National Party is?

  18. elle says:

    Looking at the smug smirking face as lead story on this page,the panama probably papers wont involve Key,unless its an old photo.

  19. WILD KATIPO says:

    I’d fancy a cheese and tomato sandwich right about now.

  20. slumbergod says:

    I’ll be happy for any Natzi Party scalp but I’d love it to be King John or Paula “Psychopath” Bennett.

  21. Kim dandy says:

    Still waiting…. Pace, pace, pace.

  22. mary_a says:

    Now, can I ask … who is it?

  23. […] Once the NZ politician is exposed by the looming Panama Paper time bomb, this report will look far more like the sick joke it is. […]



Authorised by Martyn Bradbury, The Editor, TheDailyBlog, 5 Victoria St East/Queen St, CBD, Auckland, New Zealand.