Panama Papers: Iceland’s PM faces calls to resign over offshore company

Updated 5:07 AM EDT, Tue April 5, 2016
Stacks of money are seen in what is being called a first-of-its-kind exhibit of five million dollars in cash at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on March 18, 2009 in Hollywood, Florida. The display consists of $100 bills encased in a 1,300-pound, custom-made $90,000 bullet-resistant Lexan showcase. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Stacks of money are seen in what is being called a first-of-its-kind exhibit of five million dollars in cash at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on March 18, 2009 in Hollywood, Florida. The display consists of $100 bills encased in a 1,300-pound, custom-made $90,000 bullet-resistant Lexan showcase. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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German journalists Bastian Obermayer (R) and Frederik Obermaier (L) co-authors of the socalled "Panama Papers" investigation pose on April 7, 2016 in Munich, southern Germany, at the office of the German daily "Sueddeutsche Zeitung".
The Panama Papers are a massive leak of 11.5 million documents allegedly exposing the secret offshore dealings of aides to Russian president Vladimir Putin, world leaders and celebrities including Barcelona striker Lionel Messi. The vast stash of records was obtained from an anonymous source by German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and shared with media worldwide by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
 / AFP / CHRISTOF STACHE        (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
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German journalists Bastian Obermayer (R) and Frederik Obermaier (L) co-authors of the socalled "Panama Papers" investigation pose on April 7, 2016 in Munich, southern Germany, at the office of the German daily "Sueddeutsche Zeitung". The Panama Papers are a massive leak of 11.5 million documents allegedly exposing the secret offshore dealings of aides to Russian president Vladimir Putin, world leaders and celebrities including Barcelona striker Lionel Messi. The vast stash of records was obtained from an anonymous source by German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and shared with media worldwide by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). / AFP / CHRISTOF STACHE (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
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Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, writes during a parliamentary session in Reykjavik on Monday April 4, 2016. Iceland's prime minister insisted Monday he would not resign after documents leaked in a media investigation allegedly link him to an offshore company that would represent a serious conflict of interest, according to information leaked from a Panamanian law firm at the center of an international tax evasion scheme. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gunnarsson)
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Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, writes during a parliamentary session in Reykjavik on Monday April 4, 2016. Iceland's prime minister insisted Monday he would not resign after documents leaked in a media investigation allegedly link him to an offshore company that would represent a serious conflict of interest, according to information leaked from a Panamanian law firm at the center of an international tax evasion scheme. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gunnarsson)
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Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, writes during a parliamentary session in Reykjavik on Monday April 4, 2016. Iceland's prime minister insisted Monday he would not resign after documents leaked in a media investigation allegedly link him to an offshore company that would represent a serious conflict of interest, according to information leaked from a Panamanian law firm at the center of an international tax evasion scheme. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gunnarsson)
Brynjar Gunnasrson/AP
Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, writes during a parliamentary session in Reykjavik on Monday April 4, 2016. Iceland's prime minister insisted Monday he would not resign after documents leaked in a media investigation allegedly link him to an offshore company that would represent a serious conflict of interest, according to information leaked from a Panamanian law firm at the center of an international tax evasion scheme. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gunnarsson)
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View of a sign outside the building where Panama-based Mossack Fonseca law firm offices are in Panama City, on April 4, 2016. A massive leak -coming from Mossack Fonseca- of 11.5 million tax documents on Sunday exposed the secret offshore dealings of aides to Russian president Vladimir Putin, world leaders and celebrities including Barcelona forward Lionel Messi. An investigation into the documents by more than 100 media groups, described as one of the largest such probes in history, revealed the hidden offshore dealings in the assets of around 140 political figures -- including 12 current or former heads of states. AFP PHOTO/ Rodrigo ARANGUA / AFP / RODRIGO ARANGUA        (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)
RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images
View of a sign outside the building where Panama-based Mossack Fonseca law firm offices are in Panama City, on April 4, 2016. A massive leak -coming from Mossack Fonseca- of 11.5 million tax documents on Sunday exposed the secret offshore dealings of aides to Russian president Vladimir Putin, world leaders and celebrities including Barcelona forward Lionel Messi. An investigation into the documents by more than 100 media groups, described as one of the largest such probes in history, revealed the hidden offshore dealings in the assets of around 140 political figures -- including 12 current or former heads of states. AFP PHOTO/ Rodrigo ARANGUA / AFP / RODRIGO ARANGUA (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)
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Stacks of money are seen in what is being called a first-of-its-kind exhibit of five million dollars in cash at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on March 18, 2009 in Hollywood, Florida. The display consists of $100 bills encased in a 1,300-pound, custom-made $90,000 bullet-resistant Lexan showcase. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Stacks of money are seen in what is being called a first-of-its-kind exhibit of five million dollars in cash at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on March 18, 2009 in Hollywood, Florida. The display consists of $100 bills encased in a 1,300-pound, custom-made $90,000 bullet-resistant Lexan showcase. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Story highlights

Protesters pack the streets in Iceland's capital

The country's prime minister is under fire after leaked documents revealed ties to offshore company

He says the holding company for his wife's assets brought no tax advantages

(CNN) —  

Iceland’s Prime Minister is facing calls to resign after leaked documents revealed personal financial arrangements that critics say have shattered public confidence in his leadership and will affect the country’s international reputation.

Protesters packed streets outside the country’s Parliament in Reykjavik on Monday as opposition lawmakers called for a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson.

Meanwhile, Iceland President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson has cut short a personal trip to the United States, Iceland’s national public service broadcaster RUV reports, citing his press secretary.

Elected leaders implicated

The Panama Papers: 7 things to know

Gunnlaugsson is one of a number of world leaders facing scrutiny since a group of news organizations jointly published reports Sunday drawing on millions of documents hacked from Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm that allegedly helped elected leaders and top officials set up secret shell companies and offshore accounts.

The reports accuse Gunnlaugsson, who has led the country since 2013, of having ties to an offshore company, Wintris Inc., that were not properly disclosed.

CNN hasn’t been able to verify independently the leaked documents, which were obtained from an anonymous source by German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung and then shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Gunnlaugsson has not responded to a request for comment from CNN.

He told Iceland’s TV2 Monday that he felt “betrayed and disappointed” by the accusations and wouldn’t step down.

“I have not considered resigning, nor am I going to resign, because of this matter,” he said.

Mossack Fonseca said in a statement to CNN on Monday that while the firm “may have been the victim of a data breach, nothing we’ve seen in this illegally obtained cache of documents suggests we’ve done anything illegal, and that’s very much in keeping with the global reputation we’ve built over the past 40 years of doing business the right way.”

The murky world of offshore tax havens

Questions over declaration of interest

According to the journalism group, which carried out a yearlong investigation into the documents in cooperation with more than 100 news organizations, Gunnlaugsson and his wife, Anna Sigurlaug Palsdottir, purchased Wintris from Mossack Fonseca in 2007.

The journalism organization alleged the shell company was used to invest millions of dollars in inherited money, and that Gunnlaugsson did not disclose, as required by parliamentary rules, that he co-owned Wintris when he entered Parliament in April 2009.

Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson says he hasn't considered resigning.
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson says he hasn't considered resigning.