The singer and denier of the Covid-19 pandemic Miguel Bosé was a shareholder of a Panamanian company opened through a Swiss private banking entity, the Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) of Geneva. This is information published by El País and La Sexta within the framework of the Pandora Papers, a journalistic investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) that reveals, as of this Sunday, the financial secrets of high international leaders, businessmen , artists or athletes, and in which elDiarioAR, a sister newspaper of elDiario.es in Argentina, participates.
The singer’s name was printed on the company’s stock certificates offshore Dartley Finance in 2016, while he was residing in Panama, the country where he established his residence for two years and where he was born. The company, which is still active, already existed since 2006, but until then it was controlled through bearer shares, an instrument that allowed not to register the name of the real owner of the firm, reports ‘El País’.
In Bosé’s case, the documentation is part of the internal files of the Alemán Cordero Galindo y Lee (Alcogal) office. Swiss banks used companies in opaque jurisdictions for years as tools to ensure the anonymity of their clients. In 2006, Switzerland found a way around the European directive that required its banks to report all the accounts of their foreign clients or impose significant withholdings. It was in that year 2006 when the Swiss bank UBP registered Dartley Finance, the company in which Miguel Bosé was a shareholder.
Switzerland applied this rule only to natural persons and not to companies: thus, in practice, real people could create a front company to hide their identity, a practice that caused the exponential growth of Panamanian companies opened from Switzerland between 2005 and 2006.
For ten years, Dartley Finance had no real shareholders and was controlled through bearer shares. This type of document was banned in Panama in 2015 due to its use in fraud or concealment schemes. As of that year, firms such as Alcogal have been forced to certify the beneficiaries of each company in Panama and to bring out their real names. The document that eliminates the bearer shares of Dartley Finance and assigns them to Miguel Bosé Dominguín is dated August 24, 2016, according to the aforementioned information included in the journalistic work ‘Pandora’s papers’.