SANTIAGO (Reuters) - The president of the Chilean branch of Transparency International resigned on Monday after documents from a Panamanian law firm showed he was linked to at least five offshore companies.
“Gonzalo Delaveau presented his resignation as the president of Transparency Chile, which has been accepted by the board of directors,” the national body wrote on Twitter.
Delaveau was among tens of thousands of people named in a leak of four decades’ worth of documents from Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm that specialized in setting up offshore businesses.
The “Panama Papers” were leaked to more than 100 news organizations around the world cooperating with the U.S.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, or ICIJ, including Chilean watchdog CIPER.
While Delaveau is not accused of illegal activity, the leaks called into question his post at Transparency International, a German-based organization that seeks to monitor and root out corporate and political corruption worldwide.
According to CIPER, Delaveau, a lawyer, acts as a representative for Turnbrook Corporation, DK Corporation, Heatlhey International Inc, Turnbrook Mining Ltd and Vizcachitas Ltd, all of which are domiciled in the Bahamas.
Delaveau also serves as a director for Turnbrook Mining, which owns 51.6 percent of Los Andes Copper, a Canadian exploration and development company currently focused on a mine project north of Chile’s capital, Santiago.
Delaveau could not be reached for comment.
In response to questions from CIPER, he said he was a director only at Turnbrook Mining and that his relations with the other companies were consistent with his role as a lawyer and legal clerk.
He added in an interview with a local radio station that he was “extremely surprised” by the “gray, dark area” of Mossack Fonseca.
Delaveau’s resignation came hours after Chile’s tax authority announced the beginning of an “intense follow-up” of the Chileans mentioned in the Panama Papers, who range from ex-soccer stars to newspaper magnates.
The disclosures also come as Chile deals with political and corporate corruption scandals that have left Chileans angry with the entire professional class and eroded the government’s popularity.
Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Peter Cooney