SIX estates covering over 60,000 acres of land in Scotland are owned by companies based in the tax haven at the centre of the Panama Papers scandal.

In one case, three sprawling holdings near Pitlochry are owned by a firm that gives its address as a PO Box in Panama.

Official Government records also show that at least 34 developments north of the Border were bought by corporate entities located in the Central American country.

Dubbed the biggest leak in history, the Panama Papers affair came to light when a coalition of news organisations revealed they had access to 11.5 million files from Panama-based legal firm Mossack Fonseca.

The documents showed how the rich squirrelled away billions of pounds in tax havens and, in some cases, laundered money.

Around a dozen current or former heads of state and government have been linked to the row, as have relatives of prominent political figures.

In total, it is believed details of over 210,000 companies, trusts and foundations were leaked.

The scandal has also put the spotlight onto Panama, a notorious tax haven that has regularly been criticised by transparency campaigners.

Panama is renowned for its secrecy and, up until now, it has been almost impossible to obtain basic details of the firms registered in the country.

It is one of four jurisdictions – alongside Bahrain, Nauru and Vanuatu – that refuse to sign up to new rules on the exchange of tax information.

The Sunday Herald can reveal that large chunks of Scotland are ultimately owned by firms based in Panama.

One firm, Compania Financiera Waterville SA, owns three interlinked estates near Pitlochry and gives its address as a PO Box in Panama’s Samuel Lewis Avenue.

According to Registers of Scotland, it bought the 11,895 acre Camusericht estate for £3.3m in 2003 and the 11,700 acre Dalnaspidal estate two years later for £3.25m.

Records also show that the same firm bought the 5,700 acre Corrievarkie estate in the same part of the country for £135,000 in 1979.

According to Who Owns Scotland, a website developed by land reform campaigner Andy Wightman to provide public information on who owns land north of the Border, three other estates are ultimately owned by firms in Panama.

Wightman has estimated that around 750,000 acres of land in Scotland are owned by firms based in tax havens.

However, it is not just large estates that are linked to Panama.

Data produced by Registers of Scotland for the Sunday Post newspaper last year revealed that 2,147 commercial and residential developments were owned by companies outside the UK.

The Sunday Herald can reveal that 34 of the properties were snapped up by companies in Panama. Thirteen of the 34 were in Lanarkshire, seven in Glasgow, four in Perthshire and three in Inverness.

Around 20 per cent of all 2,147 developments were owned by firms in the British Virgin Islands, which was Mossack Fonseca’s favourite tax haven for registering companies.

This information came from the Land Register, which only covers a fraction of land and property ownership, so the total number of tax haven firms with interests in Scotland will be far higher.

Earlier this year, the Scottish Greens tried to amend land reform legislation to stop companies registered outside the EU owning land in Scotland.

The move was backed by a Holyrood committee and 79 per cent of respondents to a public consultation, but the Scottish Government rejected the proposal.

There is no suggestion any of the Panama firms that own estates or companies in Scotland have been engaged in tax avoidance or money laundering.

However, the revelations have again raised questions about who owns large parts of the country. Wightman, who is standing for the Scottish Greens in the Holyrood election, said: “There are around 750,000 acres of land in Scotland owned by companies and trusts registered in offshore secrecy jurisdictions. The Panama Papers will hopefully reveal who is behind these organisations that own land from Charlotte Square in Edinburgh to the Highlands of Scotland.

“Scotland should be blazing a trail of openness and transparency which, even with limited powers, should include publishing data, highlighting abuses, and making it incompetent for any entity in the British Overseas Territories or Crown Dependencies from registering title to land in Scotland.”

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: “There shouldn’t be one rule for the majority and another for a few people at the top. We need action to clamp down on tax avoidance, including getting to grips with people and companies who use these kind of measures to avoid paying their fair share.”

Nobody from Compania Financiera Waterville SA could be reached.