Leading Lithuanian bankers and lawyers named in latest Panama Papers leak
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) responsible for coordinating the release of the leaked Mossack Fonseca documents, or the Panama Papers, has released new documents that contain the names of leading bankers and lawyers from Lithuania.
Former chairman of the board of Medicinos Bankas Algirdas Apanavičius and long-time manager Aurėja Paškevičienė were both mentioned on the documents, and both still occupied posts at Medicinos Bankas just a few years ago.
The ICIJ's information indicates that Apanavičius and Paškevičienė are linked to the Maden Assets Limited company registered in the Virgin Islands. There is no publicly available information about any links between this company and the bank, but both Apanavičius and Paškevičienė were mentioned in many correspondences with Mossack Fonseca. They are also the only people related to Medicinos Bankas whose names were found in the leaked documents.
Revelations of tax evasion
Another name mentioned in the documents was Vladimiras Gofmanas, an active intermediary in Lithuania through whom people were able to access Mossack Fonseca services.
The leaked documents indicate that Gofmanas was very honest with Mossack Fonseca, as they show him admitting to avoiding taxes. In the letters, some of which were sent as far back as 1999, he also requested information from Mossack Fonseca about money laundering schemes.
The Timbargo Ltd offshore company, which Gofmanas represented, had also attracted the attention of financial regulators in the late 90s.
For his part, Gofmanas, who was contacted by LRT's journalists, said “Here's the deal. If I'd write even a single sentence about that, that I'm avoiding taxes, Mossack Fonseca would never have any business with me again. Because I was avoiding taxes. Understand?”
He also claimed that he had long since ceased working with Mossack Fonseca, and that the leaked documents must have been ordered by some unnamed services.
Lithuanian lawyers and Mossack Fonseca
Lithuanian businesspeople rarely contacted Mossack Fonseca directly, opting instead to work through legal firms like Juridicon, which is run by Algimantas Marcinkevičius. The firm has numerous Lithuanian and international clients, and though it lists a number of countries it has worked with, it does not name Panama as one of them.
Managing partner Laimonas Marcinkevičius told 15min.lt that “we practically didn't work together with Mossack Fonseca. We have had correspondences, but we did not expand our cooperation.”
Bitcoins and blackmail
Kaunas resident Tadas Kasputis was also found in the ICIJ database. Kasputis is one of the owners of Kaduceo LLP, a company registered in the United Kingdom.
Numerous specialised media outlets have named Kasputis as a fraud who uses the Bitcoin virtual currency. He is associated with several failed Bitcoin trade systems that have kept the money that their clients used.
When contacted by 15min.lt, Kasputis denied the charges of Bitcoin fraud published about him and called them “blackmail,” though he did admit to forming Kaduceo LLP through Mossack Fonseca together with his partners. However, he also said that the company doesn't perform any duties. “My colleage registered it and that was it,” he said.