On his way to amassing a fortune through mastery of the law and skillful management of his own investment banking firm, Whitlam Turnbull & Co Ltd, and eventual management of Goldman Sachs’ Australian branch, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull‘s name has emerged in association with the Panama Papers.
Records reveal more than 20 years ago, Mr. Turnbull was a member of the board of directors of a British Virgin Islands’ firm, Star Mining NL, which was was established by the now-controversial Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca.
Star Mining invested heavily in the development of a gold mine in Siberia in the 1990s.
Mr. Turnbull held the position with Star Mining as a director along with Neville Wran, with whom he established Whitlam Turnbull & Co Ltd in 1987.
Records show the two men left their positions with Star Mining in 1995.
Denying impropriety connected to his affiliation with Star Mining, Turnbull stated:
“There is nothing new there. The company concerned was a wholly owned subsidiary of a publicly listed Australian company. The involvement is very, very well known. The company of which Neville Wran and I were directors was an Australian listed company and had it made any profits, which it did not, regrettably, it certainly would have paid tax in Australia, but obviously you haven’t studied the accounts of the company concerned.”
Turnbull’s response satisfied some, but within his own Labor Party, one was skeptical and demanded the PM be more forthcoming:
“He should be very upfront in answering questions about what he did or didn’t know about the activities of this company in relation to the Siberian gold mine,” said Labor campaign spokeswoman, Penny Wong.