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A quibbler’s fest

The publication of the Egrant inquiry report really sprang a surprise.

When 50 pages were mentioned, I wondered whether the report had to be so long. Didn’t Nexia BT owner, Brian Tonna, not declare last year, in the run-up to the election, that Egrant was his? So, why so much paper- (and, no doubt, leg-) work?

But, then, I realised that those 50 pages were an encapsulated version of 1,500 pages. And here the plot begins to thicken.

Common sense dictates the magistrate should have started at Nexia BT. It seems he was not provided with sufficient documentation to be convinced Egrant is really Tonna’s. Indeed, he resorted to a Dubai bank and, unsurprisingly, was snubbed by the authorities.

What is surprising is that the inquiring magistrate did not also turn to the Panamanian authorities, especially since the police there not only raided the offices of Mossack Fonseca but drove the company into liquidation.

In their frenzied efforts to try to salvage what is left of the country’s reputation, the Panamanian authorities would have been more inclined to help the authorities of another country.

Since the report has the magistrate turning also to the UK for assistance, one can safely assume that Panama was not also mentioned in this regard for the simple reason that Panama was not asked for help. How could Panama have helped?

In Mossack Fonseca’s offices sits Egrant, detailing all that is necessary to establish unequivocally whom it belongs to. Yes, it was a glaring omission not to have resorted to the Panamanian authorities.

The worst that could have happened was to receive a second snub in the wake of Dubai’s. But had they cooperated, then that report would have been unassailably conclusive and not one that raised more questions than it answered and bred only suspicions without allaying any.

That is what we now have: a quibbler’s fest. And the quibblers have already started making merry.

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