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U.S. Justice Dept reviewing Panama documents

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department is reviewing the leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm that reveal the offshore financial arrangements of global politicians and public figures, a department spokesman said on Monday.

The department is determining whether the documents point to evidence of corruption and other violations of U.S. law.

“The U.S. Department of Justice takes very seriously all credible allegations of high level, foreign corruption that might have a link to the United States or the U.S. financial system,” said Peter Carr, spokesman for the Justice Department’s criminal division.

Carr declined to comment further on the specifics of the documents.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published an investigation into documents from the Panama-based Mossack Fonseca law firm, which specializes in creating offshore accounts.

The “Panama Papers” revealed financial arrangements of tens of thousands of rich and powerful people, including friends of Russian President Vladimir Putin, relatives of the prime ministers of Britain, Iceland and Pakistan, and the president of Ukraine.

Following the leak, the White House said on Monday the United States values greater transparency in international financial transactions, but did not offer specific comment on the reported allegations.

“In spite of some of the lack of transparency that exists in many of these transactions, there are determined experts, at both the Department of Treasury and the Department of Justice who can examine these transactions,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

Earnest said U.S. experts can determine whether the financial transactions disclosed in the documents violate U.S. sanctions or other U.S. laws.

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