The founders of Mossack Fonseca, a law firm in Panama, were arrested in Panama on Thursday as the attorney general launched a probe into their alleged money laundering charges in connections with Brazils sprawling corruption scandal.
Kenia Porcell, Panama’s attorney general, said had information that identified Mossack Fonseca “allegedly identifies the Panamanian firm as a criminal organization that is dedicated to hiding assets or money from suspicious origins.”
Porcell said authorities in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Switzerland and the United States aided in a collaboration which began over a year ago.
The panama papers leaked in April 2016, consisting of millions of documents belonging to Mossack fonseca provoked a global scandal after showing how the rich and powerful used offshore corporations to hide money and potentially evade taxes.
Fonseca, a former presidential adviser in Panama, has previously denied that the firm had any connection to Brazilian engineering company Odebrecht, which pleaded guilty in bribes to government officials on three different countries to obtain government contracts in the region between 2010 and 2014.
“This investigation in principle is not related to Odebrecht, but to the Lava Jato case,” Porcell said, referring to the probe centered on Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras.
Fonseca has also denied any relationship with the Lava Jato case.