The Panamanian Law Firm named Mossack Fonseca which specialises in setting up offshore centres in tax havens was in limelight lately due to a massive 2.6 terabyte leak of its confidential papers to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Post the leak, hundreds of journalists are scrutinizing these documents terming this leak as ‘Panama Papers’.
The Panama Papers have brought forth Russian President Vladimir Putin and the corruption in Russia along with Iceland’s political crisis and FIFA’s hand in this racket.
Here is a quick highlight of all you need to know about the Panama Papers –
- Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family owns millions of dollars worth of real estate via numerous offshore accounts.
- Iceland Prime Minister secretly owned a debt of failed Icelandic banks while being a part of of the political negotiations over the bank fate.
- Inner circle of Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to control approximately $2 billion worth of offshore assets.
- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko appears to have transferred all his Ukrainian business interests to an offshore company he controls after pledging to sell his Ukrainian business interests during his campaign.
- FIFA and soccer players also seem to make an appearance in the leaks. Players mainly from Brazil, Uruguay, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Serbia, The Netherlands and Sweden, among other countries are a part of this leak. Most players seem to have used the law firm’s services to create offshore companies to hold the money they earned selling their image rights to advertisers. The names which have come to surface are Lionel Messi, Michel Platini, Leonardo Ulloa and Gabriel Ivan Heinze to name a few.
A few well known Indians also appear in the list. Mostly Bollywood and Actor and some politicians. Here is a quick snapshot –
In answer to this leak, Mossack Fonseca said: “We have not once in nearly 40 years of operation been charged with criminal wrongdoing. We’re proud of the work we do, notwithstanding recent and wilful attempts by some to mischaracterise it.”
We need to wait and watch if this leak is yet another social media stint or it really has some depth to it. Moreover, it will be interesting to see how the names appearing in this leak all over the world react to the Panama Papers.