Panama experts to recommend financial system cleanup

PANAMA CITY (AP) — Panama’s government established a committee of independent experts Friday to make recommendations on cleaning up the country’s financial system, after leaks of documents from a Panamanian law firm caused an international uproar over offshore accounts.

President Juan Carlos Varela called for the review after the “Panama Papers” leak involving the Mossack Fonseca law firm suggested rich foreigners were using the accounts to hide their wealth.

The advisory group includes Nobel economics laureate Joseph Stiglitz, former Panamanian President Nicolas Ardito Barletta and former Panama Canal administrator Alberto Aleman Zubieta. The group is to present recommendations to Varela in six months.

Varela said at the committee’s inauguration that “our administration is committed to bullet-proofing Panama” financial services sector “against threats from people and groups who want to use it for illegal activities.”

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