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All About Panama Papers And Those Involved And Possible Effects by Ebay14(m): 7:13pm On Apr 05, 2016
The Panama Papers: All about
the biggest leak, people and
what they did
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times|
Updated: Apr 05, 2016 15:05 IST
The ICIJ allegedly exposed a range of
personalities from political leaders to
filmstars whom a Panama-based
company helped to use tax havens to
hide their wealth.

A company list showing the Mossack
Fonseca law firm is pictured on a sign
at the Arango Orillac Building in
Panama City.

A major exposè on Monday sent shockwaves
through the top offices of the nations named
in The Panama Papers, triggering a series of
probes across the globe.
The leak was the result of an effort of over 100
media groups who published an extensive
report of probe into dubious offshore financial
deals of prominent people across the globe
who used tax havens to hide their wealth.
The documents were leaked from Mossack
Fonseca – a Panamanian law firm – by an
anonymous source to German daily
Sueddeutsche Zeitung, who then shared it
with media worldwide by the International
Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
The people it allegedly exposed ranged from
political leaders like Russian President
Vladmir Putin and Pakistan Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif, President of Argentina,
Iceland’s Prime Minister and the King of
Saudi Arabia as well as 500 Indians
including Bollywood actors Amitabh
Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
Here’s everything you want to know about
the expose that has threatens to shake the
political and economic landscape of the

What is the expose all about?

The documents, from around 214,000 offshore
entities covering almost 40 years show how
the company helped its clients launder
money, dodge sanctions and evade tax.
The confidential documents leaked from
Mossack Fonesca show that in many cases
some of the world’s most powerful people used
offshore havens to conceal their fortunes and
dodge taxes worth millions of dollars. It was
done through shell companies, initially
incorporated without significant assets or
operations, to disguise ownership or other
information about the funds involved.

What is Mossack Fonesca and how is it

Mossack Fonseca is the world’s fourth biggest
provider of offshore services and its services
include incorporating companies in offshore
jurisdictions such as the British Virgin
Islands. It administers offshore firms for a
yearly fee. Other services include wealth
management. It has acted for more than
300,000 companies.
The firm is Panamanian but, according to its
website, has a global network with 600
people working in 42 countries. It has
franchises around the world, where separately
owned affiliates sign up new customers and
have exclusive rights to use its brand.
Mossack Fonseca operates in tax havens
including Switzerland, Cyprus and the British
Virgin Islands, and in the British crown
dependencies Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of
More than half of the companies are
registered in British-administered tax havens,
as well as in the UK itself.

How it all started?

A source from inside the Mossack Fonseca
contacted the German newspaper Süddeutsche
Zeitung and offered to turn over the
documents, with no compensation in return
but an assurance of safety and secrecy of
And why? The secret source had a simple
reason: “I want to make these crimes public.”
Realising the extent of the investigation
required, the German daily then shared the
data with media worldwide by the
International Consortium of Investigative
Journalists (ICIJ). The investigation began by
June 2015 and went on for nine months.
How much data has been leaked?
“More than what you’ve ever seen before” is
what the source said.
There are as many as 11.5 million documents
and 2.6 terabytes of information drawn from
Mossack Fonseca’s internal database. This, in
simple terms, is huge enough to dwarf the US
diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks in
2010 as well as confidential intelligence
documents provided to journalists by
whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013. Also,
as prominent people have been named, it is
likely to cause as huge repercussions across
the world.

How can shell companies facilitate
financial crimes?

Shell companies offer a high degree of
anonymity that allows a person’s business
activities to remain untraced by the
authorities as well as rivals in business and
personal life. A business concern shrouded in
such secrecy cannot be traced either by an
estranged wife who wants to sue your pants
off or creditors who may want to seize your
property for defaulting on payments. The
government can’t tax you for financial assets
it doesn’t know about either.

Who are some of the prominent people

The documents exposed the holdings of 12
current and former world leaders, and details
of hidden financial dealings of 128 more
politicians and public officials worldwide.
Besides Sharif and Putin, the other
international leaders mentioned in the
documents were former Egyptian president
Hosni Mubarak, late Libyan leader
Muammar Gaddafi and Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad.
Argentinean footballer Lionel Messi’s name
also cropped up, setting sporting circles abuzz.
The most prominent among the Indians
named, as per an Indian Express report, were
real estate tycoon KP Singh, late gangster
Iqbal Mirchi and actors Amitabh Bachchan
and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

Why does the Panama papers revelation
even matter?

The leak shows how offshore tax shelters can
be exploited by the rich and the famous
despite all the safeguards put in place by
their respective countries. It also reveals how
prominent people across the world connived
with major banks to create hard-to-trace
companies. Ironically, among the accused
were many people who rose to prominence on
the anti-corruption platform.

What was Mossack Fonseca’s defence?

The law firm termed the Panama papers
revelation as a “crime” and “an attack” on
the nation.
“This is an attack on Panama because certain
countries don’t like it that we are so
competitive in attracting companies,” AFP
quoted Ramon Fonseca, one of the founders of
the firm, as saying.
“Privacy is a fundamental human right that
is being eroded more and more in the modern
world. Each person has a right to privacy,
whether they are a king or a beggar,”
Fonseca said.

What next?

The major data leak triggered a series of
probes by various state authorities across the
After vowing to “vigorously cooperate” with
any legal probe, the Panama prosecutors on
Monday said, “The facts described in
national and international communication
media publications under the term ‘Panama
Papers’ will be the subject of criminal
The people of Iceland protested to oust their
Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson,
while China censored the access to sites and
media coverage on the Panama Papers after
President Xi Jinping was also implicated in
the matter.
India too reacted sharply to the exposè and
set up a multi-agency probe group
comprising of the Reserve Bank of India and
the Central Bureau of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to
probe the list of 500 Indians including
celebrities and industrialists.

Re: All About Panama Papers And Those Involved And Possible Effects by mackhunter77: 7:19pm On Apr 05, 2016
this looks a s lengthy as Nigeria's 1999 Constitution and America's declaration of Independence combined....lemme start reading
Re: All About Panama Papers And Those Involved And Possible Effects by itstpia8: 7:30pm On Apr 05, 2016
I dont think the effects will be known until years from now.

Most of them havent even happened yet.

Its still being conjured.
Re: All About Panama Papers And Those Involved And Possible Effects by psucc(m): 7:30pm On Apr 05, 2016
Abeg how much be GEJ own were him son tief.

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