Thursday 8 December 2016

New tranche of Panama Papers show names of two INM directors

Published 19/04/2016 | 07:58

Leslie Buckley
Leslie Buckley

TWO members of the board of Independent News & Media (INM) were both directors and shareholders of offshore firms, records in the Panama Papers show.

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The Irish Times reports this morning that INM chairman Leslie Buckley and non-executive director Paul Connolly were among those associated with the law firm through certain offshore companies.  

Documentation from the 11.5m records leaked from the Mossack Fonseca legal firm in Panama includes information related to around 360 companies with links to Ireland. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by any of these companies.

Mr Buckley was a director and shareholder of Zelia Ltd, a firm incorporated in the Pacific island of Niue in 1996. He was a director of Ronver Ltd, of the Bahamas, a firm incorporated the same year.

Zelia registered for business purposes in the Isle of Man in 2004, where its affairs were administered by Walbrook Trustees. It was removed from the register in 2007.

Ronver registered in the Isle of Man in 2001. It was dissolved in 2004.

A spokesman for Mr Buckley in a statement said he was involved in a range of firms both here and abroad. 

“He takes counsel from advisers in relation to financial and governance matters,” he said.

“He is fully satisfied with the advice he has received, and his tax and business affairs have always been fully compliant and up-to-date. He is resident and pays tax in Ireland.”

Mr Connolly is the owner of Lynsdale Investments Ltd, which was incorporated in the Bahamas in 1995.

All three offshore companies are described as investment companies in the leaked Mossack files.

Mr Connolly told the Irish Times he was the beneficial owner of Lynsdale Investments from 1995 to 2004.

“I have worked in international corporate finance for over 20 years and offshore companies form an integral part of global corporate merger and acquisition structuring as well as incorporating public companies who are listed on all the major world stock markets.”

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