This article is a summary of the breaking news surrounding the leak of the Panama Papers from law firm Mossack Fonseca. For more information regarding this story, Anthony Moscrop, Editorial Content Manager, has written an in-depth article looking at what specifically the documents have revealed and who has been affected by the leak. Anthony’s article can be found here.
Presidents, high-ranking politicians worldwide, billionaires and famous athletes are all the main characters in ‘Panama papers’, a set of confidential documents leaked by Mossack Fonseca. The documents essentially show how the rich and famous were hiding their wealth in tax havens. The documents were examined by journalists from over 70 countries and appear to represent the largest leak of information regarding the overall global corruption. The ‘Panama papers’ represent more than 11 million sheets belonging to Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca and contain 160 times more data than the current famous documents comprised by WikiLeaks. The documents were received by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung from an unknown source, and then checked for more than a year by investigative journalists from more than one hundred publications.
Over 140 politicians, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and even the father of the Prime Minister David Cameron, are involved in this global scandal of tax evasion and money laundering. Among the names mentioned are as well the president of Argentina, Iceland’s Prime Minister, the President of Ukraine, the King of Saudi Arabia, but also the Chinese President. Russian cellist Sergei Roldughin, childhood friend of President Vladimir Putin and Putin girl’s godfather, had won hundreds of millions of dollars from suspicious transactions through two offshore companies, fuelled by one of the Russian banks subject to international sanctions. Additionally, the documents appear to describe money laundering of athletes such as Lionel Messi, already has previously been accused of tax evasion in Spain, and Michel Platini.