Acting Business Editor for the NZ Herald

Panama Papers: South Canterbury Finance founder Allan Hubbard named in leak

Former South Canterbury Finance chairman, the late Allan Hubbard has been named in the leak.
Former South Canterbury Finance chairman, the late Allan Hubbard has been named in the leak.

The late rich-lister Allan Hubbard is recorded as a shareholder in a British Virgin Islands company named in the Panama Papers.

Once the South Island's richest man, Hubbard was the founder of South Canterbury Finance, which collapsed in 2010 with taxpayers bailing out investors to the tune of $1.7 billion.

Hubbard, 83, died after a September 2011 car crash, just months after the Serious Fraud Charges laid 50 charges against him.

Hubbard is named in a leak of 11 million documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

PANAMA PAPERS: SEARCH THE DATABASE HERE

The leak, dubbed the Panama Papers, sheds light on offshore company structures which traditionally have been near impossible to track because a lack of transparency.

Companies, names and addresses of people in the document trove were released this morning by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The long-time South Canterbury Finance chairman is listed as a shareholder of South American Ferro Metals, which is registered in the British Virgin Islands. Hubbard is one the company's 80 listed shareholders.

South American Ferro Metals, set up in 2007, used Mossack Fonseca as its agent, says the ICIJ.

The company, according to Bloomberg, is based in Australia and is now known as Burrabulla Corporation. It mines, process and sells iron ore in Brazil.

The charges against Hubbard were withdrawn shortly after his death. The SFO's subsequent case against others associated with the company saw only one person, Edward Sullivan, found guilty.

The Panama Papers documents come from Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm with offices around the world. An anonymous source gave the documents to German newspaper Süeddeustche Zeitung, which then recruited the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to help lead a global investigation into the material.

Over the past month, media organisations around the globe have published articles with information drawn from the papers.

The findings have uncovered the offshore holdings of 12 world leaders, more than 128 other politicians, and dozens of tax evaders, drug traffickers, money launderers and other criminals. The revelations have sparked protests, triggered arrests and led to high-profile resignations, including the prime minister of Iceland.

Offshore companies and trusts are routinely used for entirely legal purposes, and Mossack Fonseca maintains that it has always complied with international protocols. A reference to a person or entity in connection with the Panama Papers is not therefore in any way indicative of any wrongdoing or impropriety.

- NZ Herald

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