Obama discusses Panama Papers: Tax evasion is "a big global problem"

Reports about rampant use of tax havens are a reminder that "tax avoidance is a big global problem," US President Barack Obama says, in his first comments on revelations contained in the so-called Panama Papers.

He says combating illicit tax havens has been an important top of international meetings.

"There's always going to be some illicit movement of funds around the world, but we shouldn't make it easy," the US president says. "We shouldn't make it legal to engage in transactions just to avoid taxes."

Obama also defends the effectiveness of US sanctions, saying: "We know the sanctions regime is strong, because Iran wouldn't have, for example, cut a deal to end their nuclear programme in the absence of strong sanctions enforcement."

Last update: Tue, 05/04/2016 - 20:28

More from World

Jammeh goes into exile in Equatorial Guinea, angering some Gambians

Former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh flew into exile in Equatorial Guinea on Sunday, making way for democracy in his...

May vows to press Trump on "unacceptable" remarks in Friday meeting

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday vowed to confront US President Donald Trump about any "unacceptable"...

Twelve confirmed dead after landslide strikes central China hotel

Ten bodies were pulled from the wreckage of a central Chinese hotel flattened by a landslide this week, bringing the...

Syrian opposition team arrives in Astana ahead of truce talks

A Syrian opposition delegation arrived in the Kazakh capital Astana for talks with representatives of the Syrian...

Arrests in Lebanon after suicide attack foiled in Beirut

Lebanese security forces have arrested several people with suspected links to a foiled suicide attack bid in Beirut...