Monday, 9 May 2016

On 02:51 by admin   No comments
The Panama Papers leak is one of the largest in recent memory, second in importance only to Snowden’s revelations regarding the state of privacy in America. The Panama Papers refer to millions of documents sourced from Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca. The documents reveal a staggering amount of offshore wealth belonging to hundreds of politicians, companies, government entities and other individuals.
The papers are being analysed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and are being released online in batches. The ICIJ says, “The database contains ownership information about companies created in 10 offshore jurisdictions including the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands and Singapore. It covers nearly 30 years until 2010.”
The entire database is searchable and the ICIJ is quick to point out that legitimate companies may also be caught in the leak. As such, the database itself isn’t proof of guilt or corruption, but it can certainly serve up pointers in that direction. Among the earliest effects of the leak involved the resignation of Iceland’s Prime Minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson.
John Doe, the unnamed person behind the leaks, also says the same thing, that the companies listed may not all be doing anything illegal. Referring to rampant corruption and the economic inequality that the leaks reveal, he adds, “it doesn’t take much to connect the dots.”
India wasn’t left unscathed in the leaks either, with at least 500 Indians allegedly involved in hoarding of wealth in offshore tax havens. Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself ordered the creation of a “multi-agency team” to look into the leaks.

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