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Former Sudanese President cited as ‘Power Player’ in Panama Papers

April 4 - 2016 WASHINGTON D.C.
Former Sudanese President Ahmed Ali Al Mirghani, who died in November 2008
Former Sudanese President Ahmed Ali Al Mirghani, who died in November 2008

The name of former Sudanese President Ahmed Ali Al Mirghani, who died in November 2008, has been cited as one of the ‘Power Players’ in the breaking Panama Papers scandal, implicating several world leaders in tax and sanctions evasion and money laundering over the past 40 years.

A leak of 11.5 million confidential documents from one of the world’s most secretive companies, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, has revealed how the rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth. They show how Mossack Fonseca has helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and avoid tax.

Gerard Ryle, director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), says documents cover day-to-day business at Mossack Fonseca over the past 40 years. He believes the leak will be “probably the biggest blow the offshore world has ever taken because of the extent of the documents”.

The Panama Papers have been reviewed by journalists across 80 countries. According to the ICIJ, Al Mirghani was the owner of British Virgin Islands company Orange Star Corporation, created in 1995. That same year, Orange Star Corporation purchased a long lease of an apartment in an expensive area of London north of Hyde Park for more than $600,000. At the time of Al Mirghani’s death, he held assets through the company worth $2.72 million, the Panama Papers reveal.

Al Mirghani, who belonged to an eminent family, was the democratically elected president of Sudan from May 1986 until he was overthrown by a coup in June 1989, which brought the current President Omar Al Bashir to power. Following the coup, Al Mirghani sought exile in Egypt, from where he maintained an important role in the opposition Democratic Unionist Party. He remained based in Egypt until his death in 2008.

(Sources: BBC, The Guardian, ICIJ)

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