According to a journalistic investigation, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babisz did not declare his shares in companies that bought real estate worth 15 million euros in the south of France. On Sunday, he said that the publications related to the Pandora Papers project are an attempt to slander him and influence the outcome of next week’s parliamentary elections.
In the Czech Republic, the results of the investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) were published by Investigace.cz.
According to him, Babisz – a billionaire controlling one of the largest companies in the Czech Republic, Agrofert – in 2009, with the participation of the French law firm DB Artwell Avocats and the Panamanian law firm Alcogal, established companies to whose accounts about 15 million euros were transferred. For this amount, 16 luxury properties were purchased, including the Bigaud Castle on the Cote d’Azur.
Andrej Babisz on an attempt to discredit
According to Investigace.cz, it is not clear from the documents where the Czech prime minister got the money. It was emphasized that Babisz has made a considerable effort to conceal the fact that he owns 15 million euros and has not disclosed any of the established companies in any of his asset declarations.
According to journalists, the prime minister is threatened with an investigation in France, the United States and the Czech Republic, if the Prague police decide that the suspicion of money laundering is credible.
In a statement delivered to the CTK agency, Babisz emphasized that there was nothing unlawful in the transaction that had been carried out before he got involved in politics. On Sunday, in a pre-election debate with other politicians running for the parliamentary elections to be held on October 8 and 9, Babisz spoke about an attempt to discredit him by the media belonging to another Czech oligarch, Zdenek Bakaly.
As part of the Pandora Papers project, in cooperation with over 600 journalists from over 100 countries around the world, approximately 12 million documents were analyzed that were leaked from 14 companies providing financial services in tax havens. As journalists emphasize, these documents show how wealthy and influential people used offshore companies and non-transparent regulations to conduct anonymous transactions and tax optimization. The first publication from the Czech Republic only mentions the prime minister, but the documents are to include the names of about 300 people and 178 offshore companies related to the Czech Republic. Among them are to be: one former minister and a criminal, local politicians, developers, representatives of defense companies and media owners.
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