131 new names from Turkey revealed in Pandora Papers

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One hundred thirty-one new names from Turkey have been identified in the Pandora Papers, a leak of some 12 million documents that reveal hidden wealth and tax avoidance by some of the world’s rich and powerful, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on Monday.

The new names revealed on Monday come in addition to more than 20 others from Turkey, including billionaires on Forbes’ list and well-known businessmen, who were previously revealed to be in the documents leaked from 14 law and financial consulting firms operating in 31 countries and revealed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), according to DW Türkçe.

The list cited by DW on Monday includes the names of 131 people who transferred money from Turkey to offshore companies, with 114 being clients of Panamanian law firm Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee (Alcogal) and the remainder customers of the British Virgin Islands-based Fidelity Corporate Services.

Among the names on the list are Jan Nahum and his wife Neşe Nahum, who transferred their shares in consulting company Hexagon Danışmanlık in 2019 and Kıraça Holding in 2020 to Sezgin Baran Korkmaz, DW said.

Korkmaz, who was involved in a money-laundering scheme in the United States and accused of involvement in large-scale corruption in Turkey, was arrested in Austria on June 19 on a US warrant. It turned out that Korkmaz had also defrauded the US Treasury and illegally transferred tens of millions of dollars to Turkey.

Other names on the list include Alarko Tourism Group CEO Edip İlkbahar; Nurettin Eroğlu, chairman of Eroğlu Holding, one of the top Turkish companies in textile industry exports;  honorary Turkish consul general of the Cook Islands and board chairman of Gantek Technology Ahmet Şefik Öngün; and Kemal Gülman, owner of the Gülman Group, a company providing real estate investment and project management services.

The Nahums own a company called Valmoza Limited, which they founded in March 2007 in the British Virgin Islands through the Alcogal company, while İlkbahar owns the British Virgin Islands-based Wickmar International Ltd, the documents cited by DW indicate.

On a global scale, the documents also include Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s family, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso Mendoza, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former French finance minister and managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), according to DW.

Having secret offshore assets is not illegal in Turkey as in many parts of the world. Still, experts say a complex network of secret companies to move assets around can be a way to hide illegal profits.

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