Mexico joins investigation into alleged tax avoidance

By Elliot Bullman

Organisations and individuals are under investigation by the SAT.

As the full extent of the international Paradise Papers scandal unfolded this week, the Undersecretary of Finance, Vanessa Rubio said that Mexico is committed to investigating cases of tax evasion.

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According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, numerous iconic Mexican people and organisations use tax havens as an operating platform to boost their profits. People named include businessmen Carlos Slim, Enrique Coppel and Ricardo Salinas Pliego.

In the field of politics, Alejandro Gertz Manero, who was the secretary of Public Safety during the administration of President Vicente Fox (2000-2006) is named in the Paradise Papers.

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Gertz Manero, the former leader of Mexico’s largest trade union confederation operated a trust and hid millions of dollars in offshore tax havens.

Joaquín Gamboa Pascoe, who headed the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM) from 2005 until his death at age 93 in February 2016, left an inheritance to his wife and children of at least US $15.5 million.

During the two years preceding his death, millions of dollars were transferred to bank accounts he held in Germany, the United States, Canada and England.

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Research coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) shows that Gertz Manero was vice president of an investment company called "Jano Ltd.", which was incorporated in the Cayman Islands for "fiscal purposes."

The ICIJ highlights in its investigation that Jano Ltd. was considered a "profitable" company, but that there was no "documentation of its source of funds".

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Rubio reaffirmed that Mexico will use the international mechanisms of exchange of bilateral tax information with practically every country in the world in its investigations into some of Mexico’s wealthiest people.

She affirmed that the tax administration system and the financial intelligence unit of Mexico are already in the process of investigating the information contained in the Paradise Papers.

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