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    May 11, 2016

    Panama Papers' fresh leak reveals S'pore names

    THE Panama Papers continued to spill fresh secrets yesterday, as the data of some 200,000 offshore entities set up by wealthy individuals around the world went public.

    The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) launched the fresh leak onto its searchable online database at 2am Singapore time yesterday.

    The data comes from nearly four decades of digital archives of Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm that specialises in creating and running offshore entities. The firm has said its archives had been hacked.

    The new leak includes records on thousands of Singapore-linked offshore entities, created by individuals and corporations that provided a Singapore address, or that were set up from Mossack Fonseca's Singapore office.

    The Panama Papers have been making headlines around the world because they unearthed the hidden riches of top politicians in countries such as Iceland and Ukraine.

    However, the ICIJ itself made clear that there are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts.

    The Singapore-linked names in the Panama Papers include OCBC Trustee Limited and DBS Bank, whose spokesman said: "With regard to offshore or trust structures, the law obliges us to take steps to identify ultimate beneficial owners and we do not support the use of concealment techniques."

    Another name thrown up is that of Boustead chief executive Wong Fong Fui.

    Boustead's vice-president of corporate marketing and investor relations, Keith Chu, said: "We have two companies incorporated there under Boustead. Both companies are dormant and were formed to hold foreign investments for legitimate business and tax planning purposes, as advised by reputable professional firms."

    Ministry of Finance and Monetary Authority of Singapore's spokesmen said: "We are reviewing the batch of information that was released this morning on the persons and entities identified in the Panama Papers. If there is evidence of wrong-doing by any individual or entity in Singapore, we will not hesitate to take firm supervisory and enforcement action."