The involvement of Argentine President Mauricio Macri in an offshore company in Bahamas, revealed by the release of the Panama Papers, is currently making headlines all over the world. But Macri is far from being a first timer in offshore operations.
1. Mauricio Macri was the vice president of Fleg Trading Inc.
The Panama Papers leak revealed Mauricio Macri was the vice president of a company called Fleg Trading Inc. located in the Bahamas. The president of the company was his father, Franco Macri, one of Argentina’s most prominent businessman.
The company was established in 1998 and was active until 2008, when Macri was the Buenos Aires city Mayor. However, while Macri was in office he did not declare he was a board member of Fleg Trading Inc.
2. Mauricio Macri was vice president of Kagemusha SA, located in Panama.
But this was not the first time for the Macri family in matters of operating with offshore companies. Kagemusha SA, named after a Japanese movie, was established in Panama earlier in 1981.
In that company, President Macri also appears as vice president with his father Franco as the head of the firm. One of Mauricio Macri’s brothers, Gianfranco, appears as secretary.
3. Mauricio Macri was president of Boca Juniors and the club’s offshore bank accounts.
Argentina’s most important soccer club, Boca Juniors, also appears in the Panama Papers. According to the documents, it is one of the 20 biggest sports clubs in the world with offshore financial operations.
When asked about the club’s offshore bank accounts, Boca Juniors’ president Daniel Angelici said “those accounts were not opened under my presidency, they were opened 20 years ago.” The thing is Boca Juniors’ president 20 years ago was no other than Mauricio Macri, who won the club’s presidency in 1995.
However, Angelici, who happens to be a member of Macri’s coalition, also admitted to owning a company located in Panama.
4. Mauricio Macri’s brother and his eight companies in Panama.
Gianfranco, one of Mauricio Macri’s brothers, owns eight companies in Panama. Despite not being part of Fleg Trading Inc., he is a board member of Kagemusha SA since 1981.
According to economist Ezequiel Orlando, who has done research on the Macris’ links to offshore companies, five out of the other seven companies in which Gianfranco Macri is a board member were established in December 12, 2007, only two days after Mauricio Macri became the mayor of Buenos Aires.
5. Mauricio Macri and his father prosecuted for contraband.
In 1993 Sevel, a car manufacturer in Argentina owned by the Macri family, was selling auto parts to its Uruguay branch and then re-importing them. This reportedly allowed Sevel to collect reimbursements for car exports that were not true exports.
The whole operation represented a seven million dollar profit for Sevel while helping it evade taxes for $14 million dollars only in 1993. After being taken to court in 1997, Mauricio Macri and his father Franco were prosecuted for contraband in 2001.
The charges, however, were dismissed by Argentina’s Supreme Court Justices, who at the time held close ties with former neoliberal President Carlos Menem, whom was defined by Mauricio Macri in a television interview as “a man who rebuilt the country.”
Two of the judges that dismissed the charges were later removed from the Supreme Court for blocking the judiciary’s work in the case that involved the Macri family.