Millions of financial records of offshore companies listed in tax havens have been leaked. The documents, known as the Panama Papers, provide information about company shareholders in 21 locations from Nevada, Singapore, to British Virgin Islands. The leaked data includes emails, financial tables, passports, and company establishment records dating back to 1977.
The Panama Papers are leaked data from Mossack Fonseca, a law firm in Panama, acquired by a German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitun. They shared the data with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ),which was subsequently verified by hundreds of journalists in 76 countries over the course of one year.
Mossack Fonseca is an influential law firm in Panama, and has dozens representative offices around the world. The firm is known as one of the best law firms in the world that helps incorporate shell companies that are used to shield the ownership of corporate assets.
Their services are not illegal as long they are used by individuals who have no legal issues. Unfortunately, these firms frequently do not check the origin of their clients’ wealth. In some cases, they even help their clients hide suspicious transactions or manipulate records.
Besides business people, the documents which will be made public in May 2016, also named leaders, ministers, and politicians from various countries.