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Panama Report: Messi Denies Tax Evasion

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Current world player of the year, Lionel Messi has dismissed reports circulating in the media, accusing him of seeking refuge in Panama’s tax haven.

A report emerged on Monday on a list of foreign leaders and famous people who paid a Panamanian law firm to set up offshore investment accounts in tax havens around the world.

The report claimed that the Argentine captain, alongside his father, used the company -Mega Star Enterprises- to avoid paying tax on image rights deals, adding that the 28-year old acquired the enterprise.

However, on Monday, Lionel Messi’s family released a statement dismissing the claim as “false and libelous.”

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The statement read: “In response to the news released by various media outlets in which Lionel Messi is held responsible for the forming of a company with the aim of ‘putting in place a new web of tax fraud’, the Messi family wishes to make it clear that Lionel Messi has not carried out any of the actions he is accused of, the accusations of having ‘created a new web of tax fraud’ and, even, money laundering, are false and libellous.

“The Panamian company referred to in the reports is a completely inactive company, which never held open accounts nor funds and which comes from the former company structure put in place by Messi’s previous financial advisers, the fiscal consequences of which have already been normalised, with all the income that comes from exploitation of his image rights, prior to and after the procedure carried out in the courts, having been declared before the Spanish Treasury.

“With respect to the above, the Messi family have given instructions to their lawyers to analyse eventual legal action against the sources that have published these claims.