Celtic shareholder Dermot Desmond named in Panama leak

BILLIONAIRE Celtic shareholder Dermot Desmond is reported to be among the names in documentation leaked from the Panamanian law firm at the centre of a controversy about offshore tax havens.

Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond. Picture: SNS

According to the Irish Times - which is one of the newspapers to have been granted access to the leak - Mr Desmond appears in the files, as does his compatriot JP McManus.

The names of a number of high-profile figures, including Prime Minister David Cameron’s father, have been found among 11 million documents belonging to Mossack Fonseca, which were leaked to the media.

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There is no suggestion that anyone named has been involved in any wrongdoing.

The Irish Times said the files included a June 2005 letter from HSBC Private Bank in Switzerland to Mossack’s office in Panama in relation to a Panamanian company called Ard International Inc.

A meeting of the company’s directors in Panama voted that month to issue a bearer share certificate for 100 $1 shares in Ard International.

On the same day the directors issued the bearer share certificate, they voted to grant a general power of attorney over the company to Mr Desmond, including the right to deal in assets and open and close bank accounts.

The files also include a note from the businessman dating from November 2005 asking the Ard International directors to grant power of attorney to two Swiss lawyers.

“This being done, I resign as attorney of the above mentioned company and ask you to kindly destroy the document of my appointment and the one of my resignation,” he wrote.

It is not known what business, if any, was ever conducted by Ard International.

A spokeswoman for Mr Desmond told the Irish Times he did not want to comment.

Mr Desmond, who has a net worth of £1.5bn according to Forbes, made his money in finance and has been a non-executive director of Celtic since 1995.

Information from the documents - known as the Panama Papers - was passed to 107 media organisations across the globe after an anonymous source contacted the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Mr Cameron’s late father Ian is reported to be among the names as are six peers, three ex-Tory MPs and political party donors.