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Nearly 900 Canadians found in Panama Papers, but no charges have yet been laid

The Canada Revenue Agency headquarters in Ottawa is shown on November 4, 2011. Canada's tax agency has identified nearly 900 Canadians in the Panama Papers and five criminal investigations are underway, but so far no charges have been laid. The Canada Revenue Agency is providing new details about the status of its probe of the so-called Panama Papers -- a major leak of information detailing hundreds of billions of dollars from around the world sheltered in offshore tax havens. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — Canada’s tax agency has identified nearly 900 Canadian people and corporate entities in the Panama Papers and five criminal investigations are underway, but so far no charges have been laid.

The Canada Revenue Agency is providing new details about the status of its probe of information leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, detailing hundreds of billions of dollars from around the world sheltered in tax havens.

To date, 894 Canadians — including individuals, corporations and trusts — have been identified in the papers and 525 of them have had their files reviewed by the CRA.

Canada’s tax agency says it has completed 116 audits, resulting in over $15 million in federal taxes and penalties assessed.

National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier says the government has been working to crack down on offshore tax cheats, pointing to two search warrants executed last week in an alleged case worth $77 million, which came from information in the Panama Papers.

But Liberal Senator Percy Downe says he is concerned at how long it is taking CRA to investigate these cases, pointing to $500 million that has been recovered by other countries in the three years since the papers were released.

The Canadian Press