The Latest: Report: Ex-bank chairman had offshore account

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PARIS (AP) — The Latest on the publication by a coalition of media outlets of an investigation into offshore financial dealings by the rich and famous (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

Spanish online news site El Confidencial has published documents it says show that a former chairman of one of Spain's largest banks used Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca to create an offshore company.

El Confidencial says it has obtained documents that outline how former Caja Madrid Chairman Miguel Blesa in 1989 used Mossack Fonseca to create Danforth Investments in the British Virgin Islands.

The news site says the documents show the purpose of Danforth was to invest in Spain-based companies such as aircraft manufacturer Construcciones Aeronavales SA and arms firm EINSA.

Caja Madrid was merged with seven other Spanish savings banks in 2011 to form Bankia SA, which later had to be nationalized and bailed out by the state for 18 billion euros ($24 billion).

Blesa was chairman of Caja Madrid from 1996 to 2009 and has been under investigation for alleged irregularities in the bank since 2013.

El Confidencial says Blesa's lawyers have declined to comment on its report.


4:00 p.m.

Newspapers working on the mammoth leak of offshore data say the Panamanian firm at the center of the scandal used the name and reputation of the International Committee of the Red Cross to help obscure the origin of millions of dollars in questionable money.

There's no suggestion that the humanitarian group knew its name was used in this way. Red Cross spokeswoman Claire Kaplun said Sunday that the revelation was "extremely shocking."

France's Le Monde and Switzerland's Le Matin Dimanche say Mossack Fonseca created dummy foundations to hold shares in some 500 offshore companies. The foundations claimed beneficiaries such as the Red Cross, a maneuver that kept the companies' true owners anonymous, while cloaking them in an "NGO aura."

Mossack Fonseca didn't immediately return an email seeking comment.