Panama Papers: Clarence Seedorf among Dutch names

 05 Apr 2016 - 14:00

Panama Papers: Clarence Seedorf among Dutch names
Clarence Seedorf

The Hague: Hundreds of Dutch nationals including former football star Clarence Seedorf, an international fashion store owner and a chief programmer of the now defunct Megaupload file-sharing site were fingered Tuesday in new revelations from the Panama Papers.

The two dailies, Trouw and the respected Financieele Dagblad said the leaked documents "appear to show the use of widespread offshore accounts by small Dutch enterprises as well as by trusts and foundations." 

The two Dutch newspapers took part in the explosive "Panama Papers" investigation into a trove of 11.5 million tax documents leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which specialises in creating offshore shell companies.

"Among the names are footballer Clarence Seedorf, fashion brand 'Mexx' founder Rattan Chadha, (Megaupload chief programmer) Bram van der Kolk and John Bredenkamp," a well-known tycoon and controversial trader, said Trouw.

Former Dutch midfielder and AC Milan manager Seedorf in 2005 reached a sponsorship deal with a Milan-based jewellery company for his Seedorf Racing motorcycle team.

The sponsorship contract however was resold several times via offshore companies resulting in a final price tag almost five times higher than the contract's original value.

"Who profited from this deal? It can't be said with certainty," Trouw said.

Seedorf "is not aware of any illegal deals or contracts," a spokeswoman told the NOS public broadcaster in response.

"The news reports are insinuating something that's not there. Seedorf invested his own money in the team and even made a loss," the spokeswoman added.

Also named was Rattan Chadha, founder of the Mexx fashion brand and Van der Kolk, who is facing extradition from New Zealand to the United States along with Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom on charges of racketeering, fraud, money laundering and copyright theft.

John Bredenkamp is a Zimbabwean businessman and Mugabe-regime insider, previously described by the US Treasury Department as being "involved in various business activities, including tobacco trading, grey-market arms trading and trafficking, equity investments, oil distribution, tourism, sports management and diamond extraction".

The South African-born Bredenkamp carries several nationalities including Dutch, Trouw said.

Another name mentioned is the late Jos van der Vorm, who served as a tax specialist on the Dutch highest Supreme Court, the Hoge Raad, between 1979 and 1986.

Trouw reported Van der Vorm placed some 7.6 million euros ($8.6 million) which he inherited from a relative into an offshore trust in Bermuda.

The Panama Papers document trove was anonymously leaked to German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and shared with more than 100 media groups by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

In a statement, Mossack Fonseca denied any wrongdoing and said it has always complied with relevant laws and regulations.

AFP