245 South Koreans have paper companies

Seoul, May 22 (IANS) A total of 245 South Koreans were confirmed to have established paper companies in safe havens in a bid to avoid tax payment, an independent South Korean media said Wednesday.

The Newstapa announced that it found 245 South Koreans set up paper companies in safe havens between 1995 and 2009 after analyzing information related to paper companies jointly with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism.

A safe haven is a place where no or a very few tax is imposed on earnings and income, granting tax benefits to individuals and companies. The safe haven has been blamed for serving as a hotbed of tax evasion and money laundering.

The information came from the list of around 130,000 customers and about 122,000 paper company data held by Portculis TrustNet and Commonwealth Trust Ltd that act as a proxy for the establishment of paper companies in safe havens.

The 245 South Koreans included heads of conglomerates and their family members who can be recognized only by name, the non-governmental media said, noting the number may increase after additional analysis.

The Newstapa said it planned to make public the list of the 245 South Koreans gradually, once or twice a week, in a bid to meet the general public’s demand for their right-to-know.

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