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Tax Haven Series (Part 4): HBJ Companies in Panama Distance Themselves from Mossack Fonseca


Posted: September 27th, 2017


DE-Tenants.org has already revealed (Part 1 of this series) that Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani (known by his initials “HBJ”), a member of the Qatari royalty and the nation’s former Prime Minister, has held four Panamanian companies linked to Luxembourg bank accounts.

Mossack Fonseca Logo

Per the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), in 2011, HBJ began to acquire four companies, all in Panama, to hold bank accounts in Luxembourg. The four companies were revealed in the Panama Papers, a massive trove of 11.5 million leaked documents from a controversial Panamanian law firm called Mossack Fonseca.

The first two firms were Knibos Consulting S.A. and Notart Consulting S.A., both founded in February 2011 and controlled by HBJ (with power of attorney) and four unidentified bearers of shares.

Then in July and September of 2013 HBJ took control of Yalis S.A. and Rienne S.A., respectively. Joining HBJ in the takeovers was his cousin, the former Emir of Qatar, Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani. HBJ controlled 25% of both companies while the former Emir controlled 75%.

Firm Jurisdiction Incorporated Dissolved Associated Address Principals
Knibos Consulting S.A. Panama 7-FEB-2011 Active Wildgen & Partners B.P. 1212 L-1012, Luxembourg Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani; four unidentified bearers
Notart Consulting S.A. Panama 9-FEB-2011 Active Wildgen & Partners B.P. 1212 L-1012, Luxembourg Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani; four unidentified bearers
Rienne S.A. Panama 12-SEP-2011 Active Wildgen & Partners B.P. 1212 L-1012, Luxembourg Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani; Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Hamad Al-Thani; four unidentified bearers
Yalis S.A. Panama 30-SEP-2011 Active Wildgen & Partners B.P. 1212 L-1012, Luxembourg Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani; Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Hamad Al-Thani; four unidentified bearers

Legal Actions Against Mossack Fonseca

Recent documents filed in the Registro Público de Panamá reveal that three of the four firms (excluding Yalis S.A.) have distanced themselves from Mossack Fonseca after the eponymous partners, Mr. Jürgen Mossack and Mr. Ramón Fonseca, were arrested on money laundering charges. The arrest was performed on February 9, 2017, after authorities executed a surprise raid of the firm’s headquarters.

The arrests come 10 months after the Panama Papers investigation by the ICIJ and other media partners revealed that Mossack Fonseca had set up or managed offshore companies and other hard-to-trace corporate structures for world leaders, drug kingpins, American fraudsters and other clients.

Kenia Porcell, Panama’s attorney general, released a statement that said evidence gathered by her office indicated that the law firm was a potential “criminal organization” that concealed and removed evidence related to “illicit activity.”

Both Fonseca and Mossack have consistently denied any wrongdoing. Their law firm says that it is not at fault in cases in which offshore companies it set up for clients were later used for illegitimate purposes. The Mossack Fonseca law firm issued a statement that accused Panamanian officials of “an attempt to divert the attention from those who really merit a deep and proactive investigation.” It said authorities “have not presented a single piece [of] evidence that shows us guilty.”


HBJ firms cutting ties with Mossack Fonseca

Following the February arrests, beginning in May 2017 Knibos Consulting, Notart Consulting, and Rienne S.A. removed the Mossack Fonseca law firm as their corporate agent. HBJ and the Qatari royal family had used Mossack Fonseca’s services for 25 years. Mossack Fonseca took with it a series of sham directors—people who regularly signs important contracts and approves documents, even though they have no decision-making power.

Sham directors obscure the true controlling principals behind corporate entities, and they occur throughout the Panama Papers in conjunction with Mossack Fonseca. HBJ has used such directors provided by Mossack Fonseca, per his own admission. HBJ wrote in an email obtained by Sueddeutsche Zeitung: “We have used your firm since some 25 years now and in many cases you act as directors.” (SOURCE)

Three of HBJ’s four Panamanian firms have severed a longstanding relationship with the troubled Panamanian law firm. DE-Tenants.org will continue to closely monitor HBJ’s Panamanian corporate assets.





Look for more on Qatari offshore firms at DE-Tenants.org in future posts.