Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the centre of the Panama Papers scandal, said on Tuesday the documents were taken in a hack from outside the country and not by someone within the company.
Founding partner Ramon Fonseca said the company filed a complaint with state prosecutors on Monday, Reuters reported.
“We rule out an inside job. This is not a leak. This is a hack. We have a theory and we are following it.
We have already made the relevant complaints to the Attorney General’s office”
Fonseca told AFP “We have a technical report that we were hacked by servers abroad,” adding that “nobody is talking of the hack, and that is the only crime that has been committed.”
Fonseca said the firm, which specializes in setting up offshore companies, had broken no laws and that it had never helped anyone to evade taxes or launder money.
Panama’s state prosecutor’s office said earlier on Tuesday that it would launch a criminal investigation into the leak, aimed at establishing what crimes might have taken place and who committed them.
On Tuesday, Iceland’s prime minister, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, stepped aside after revelations about his offshore dealings. Gunnlaugsson has suggested the vice chairman of his Progressive party take over “for an unspecified amount of time.”
German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung obtained more than 11.5 million documents from an anonymous source, and more than 400 journalists linked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists have been investigating the contents for over a year.
#UPDATE Panama Papers law firm says 'hacked by servers abroad' https://t.co/ijpXEzzAzi
— AFP news agency (@AFP) April 6, 2016
Panama law firm says data hack was external, files complaint https://t.co/x2TggdP1AS pic.twitter.com/vfpu8UEbix
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) April 6, 2016