Panama papers leak
The Pandora’s Box has opened and what comes is not something to cheer about. Yes! We are talking about the latest Panama papers leak, the most sensational leak of documents that have stunned the world. The Panama papers leak shows the way the powerful and the rich people of the world hide their wealth.
What are the Panama Papers?
Before moving on to the details of the Panama papers leak, it is essential to understand that what these papers are. The Panama papers are documents that were in possession of the law firm Mossack Fonseca, which is based in Panama. The firm offers legal advice, services and research for various jurisdictions that include Panama, Cyprus, Belize, Seychelles, British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica and several others that are mainly considered as tax havens.
The leak of which there has been so much hype since the past two days amount to a staggering 11.5 million confidential documents that have legal as well as financial information. The papers date back nearly four decades when the firm Mossack Fonseca was established. It contains the financial information about personalities from all over the world that have laundered their money somehow and evaded tax in their countries.
Who are involved?
Now the important question as to who all have been named in these Panama papers leak arises. It seems that over the period of forty years, some very well known names from the political, sports, entertainment and other arenas have formed shell companies through Mossack Fonseca and laundered money. The Panama paper leak has shown links to a dozen heads of state and government. The names also include some 60 associates and relatives of the heads of state, politicians, sports personalities and some from the film fraternity.
The names include associates of Vladimir Putin, Russia’s President, brother-in-law of Xi Jinping, President of China, Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina, David Cameron’s late father, Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, three of the four children of Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s Prime Minister and Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, Iceland’s Prime Minister to name a few.
What is wrong in these cases?
Since tax havens have existed from a long time, why there is such a hullabaloo over the Panama papers is the question that is being raised by money. It is true that tax havens have always existed and that there are legitimate ways of keeping money in these tax havens. However, the problem here is that the firm hid information about the owners of the money, the source of origin of this money and that the owners avoided paying taxes on this money in their countries.
The shell companies through which the money has been laundered are the real culprits. There is no real business going on in these companies except for the money changing hands and this is what is wrong here.
Who leaked the Panama Papers?
The German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung was first approached by an unknown source regarding the handing over of these documents. The newspaper shared the information and the papers with International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The duo along with several journalists from around the world analyzed the documents over a year and then made them public.