12 Aug Everything You Need to Know About the Panama Papers
The Panama Papers are an exclusive leak of a set of masses of papers from the databank of Mossack Fonseca, one of the biggest offshore law firms in the world. The Panamanian corporation had detailed information on over 214,000 offshore companies including the identities of involved shareholders and directors. The papers were anonymously leaked to a German newspaper which shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The ICIJ later shared them with a network of international partners such as the BBC and the Guardian.
What do the papers reveal?
The papers document the numerous ways through which the rich exploit secretive offshore tax systems. Those implicated by the papers include state leaders, politicians and their families as well as close contacts. In a summary, here is what you will learn from the Panama Papers:
- Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president has a $2 billion trail leading to him. His best friend Sergei Roldugin is also involved in the scheme where money from Russian state banks is hidden offshore.
- National leaders tainted by this data leak include Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif; former vice president of Iraq and ex-interim Prime Minister, Ayad Allawi; Ukraine’s President, Petro Poroshenko; Prime Minister of Iceland, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson and son of Egypt’s former President, Alaa Mubarak.
- David Cameroon’s father ran an offshore investment fund and avoided ever paying tax in Britain by employing the services of a small army of Bahamas populaces to take care of all its paperwork.
- Africa had culprits as well. This included the ‘honourable’ Rwandan president Paul Kagame, Emmanuel Ndahiro, and Hatari Sekoko.
- Even the sports industry was implicated by the data leak. Among those mentioned, include Michel Platini, Lionel Messi and other officials that were charged in the FIFA scandal as well.
- Chinese president Xi Jinping is also accused of having links to the Panama offshore company at some point.
The Panama Papers count as one of the biggest data leaks to ever happen. The leak involved 11.5 million documents and 2.6TB of information from the offshore database.