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New raid on Panama Papers law firm: report

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Panamanian authorities launched a new raid Friday on an address linked to the law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers scandal, local media reported.

[PANAMA CITY] Panamanian authorities launched a new raid Friday on an address linked to the law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers scandal, local media reported.

Prosecutors focused on organised crime "carried out a raid on a storage property belonging to the firm Mossack Fonseca," La Prensa newspaper said, publishing a photo of people putting documents into a vehicle.

Officials in the public ministry confirmed to AFP that a raid "is under way" but did not provide further details.

It was the second raid in as many weeks on Mossack Fonseca in Panama. On April 12, the same prosecutorial unit swooped on the firm's main offices for a search that lasted 27 hours.

Officials said after that first raid that no evidence was uncovered to support charges. They added that the firm kept its records on more than 100 servers located at different addresses.

Mossack Fonseca is a discreet law firm based in Panama and founded by two local, well-connected lawyers specialized in creating and fronting offshore companies for the world's wealthy.

Forty years of its digital archives were handed to a pair of German journalists who organized a worldwide media investigation of the documents they contained.

That has led to numerous scandals as the names of sovereigns, politicians, sporting stars, celebrities and some criminals have come to light, and as the breadth of tax evasion has emerged.

Mossack Fonseca insists it did nothing illegal and says its servers were hacked from abroad, making it a victim of cybertheft.

But authorities in Panama are promising to adopt global standards on sharing tax information, which would impact the way Mossack Fonseca has done business.

AFP