Denmark will pay an anonymous source for information about hundreds of Danish nationals mentioned in a data leak from a Panama-based law firm linked to tax-dodging schemes, the Danish minister of taxation said Wednesday.
Karsten Lauritzen welcomed the fact that parliament's tax committee broadly supported the scheme, but noted "there is a risk when doing deals with an anonymous seller."
It is reportedly the first time the Danish tax authority has opted to pay for information of this nature. The tax authority has not said how much it paid, but public broadcaster DR said the sum was at least 1 million kroner (150,000 dollars).
Earlier this year, 11.5 million documents were leaked from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca detailing how money was funnelled to shell companies in tax havens. The leak has called into question the finances of numerous politicians, sports stars and celebrities from across 80 countries. The firm has rejected any wrongdoing.
The Danish Taxation Ministry estimated between 500 and 600 Danish nationals were mentioned in the leaked documents.
Jim Sorensen, a division head at the authority, told broadcaster DR that a sample received earlier this year proved to be credible.
"We feel the data is good and we can use it for tax cases and to get an overview of tax evasion in general," he said.
Sorensen said the all contacts with the source were via encrypted channels.