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The Panama Papers

Lucas Browne, October 2020

The “Panama papers” affair in 2016 was the biggest data leak in corporate history. 2.6TB (2600GB) of data was leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonesca to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.

The leak consisted of some 11.5 million documents and over 20 million emails. The leaks give insight into how the rich and powerful hide their money is off-shore tax havens. The leaked data contained information on over 200,000 shell companies held by clients all over the world to hide their finances from their local and national tax authorities.

Prosecutors in Cologne Germany have this week issued warrants for the arrests of company founders Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonesca. The pair are charged with aiding tax evasion and running a criminal enterprise.

12 world leaders and 143 politicians were implicated in the leak including:

  • Vladimir Putin (President of Russia)
  • Petro Poroshenko (President of Ukraine) –
  • Nawaz Sharif (PM of Pakistan)
  • Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson (former PM of Iceland)
  • Brother-in-law of Xi Jin Ping

The revelation that Xi Jin Ping’s brother was implicated looks especially bad for the Chinese leader in light of his anti-corruption scheme which allowed him to eliminate his political opponents and consolidate power.

To this day revelation from the Panama papers are still being revealed as investigators comb through the massive trove of documents.

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