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New documents show that President of Iceland had connection to offshore company in tax haven

By Staff

  • Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson and his wife Dorrit Moussaieff It has now been revealed that Dorrit had ties to a company which appears in the Panama Papers. Photo/EPA

Yesterday the local newspaper Reykjavik Grapevine and the news site Kjarninn revealed that the president of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, has had connections to an offshore company in the notorious tax-haven of the British Virgin Islands. Ólafur Ragnar has thus far categorically denied he or his wife, Dorrit Moussaieff or family had any ties to companies in tax havens.

President's wife had connections to a company in the Panama Papers
The company, Lasca Finance Limited, was registered in the British Virgin Islands. The company was owned by the parents of the president’s wife, Dorrit Moussaieff. According to Kjarninn the company, which was in operation between 1999 and 2005, is mentioned in the Panama Papers. The financial statements of Moussaieff Jewelers Limited, the family business of the Moussaieff family, the offshore company Lasca Finance, made nearly seven million pounds (10.2 million USD/9.1 million EUR) in interest payments to Mussaieff Jewelers in the years 2000-2005.

Read more: Breaking: Mr. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson announces he will run for a sixth term as President of Iceland

Kjarninn is unable to trace the story of Lasca Finance after 2005, when Moussaieff Jewelers Limited sold its 10% stake in the company to S. Moussaieff and Mrs Moussaieff, presumably the parents of Dorrit Moussaieff, Schlomo and Alisa Moussaieff. Schlomo passed away in 2015. His surviving wife is the registered owner of Moussaieff Jewellers Limited. She is 86 years old. Their three daughters, Dorrit, Tamara and Sharon are the heirs to the fortune which is considered among the largest in the world.

"No, no, no, no, no. That's not going to be the case"
In a statement to the media Ólafur Ragnar denied he or his wife Dorrit had had any knowledge of the company, and that Dorrit’s mother could not recall having known about the company.

Read more: What’s going on in Icelandic Politics? What is likely to happen next?

The revelation that Ólafur Ragnar did in fact have a connection to a tax haven, is particularly damaging due to Ólafur Ragnar’s previously unambiguous denial that anything would be discovered about himself and his family, linking him to tax havens or the Panama Papers. In an interview with Christiane Amanpour on CNN on Friday Ólafur answered this question with an emphatic “No, no, no, no, no. That’s not going to be the case.”

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