Documents were leaked this past week showing evidence of some of the world’s rich and how they have managed to hide their wealth, evade taxes, and launder money. The information leaked was from a company in Panama called Mossack Fonseca.
The leak is being called “the biggest leak in history” according to BBC, this is in part because the amount of the information leaked was so large, also in part to the fact that it has lead to the discovery of money scandals worldwide from small time business owners to heads of state. In all, it is said twelve current as well as former heads of state are involved.
Some of these heads of state include the Argentine president Mauricio Macri, Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, as well as at least sixty relatives to the heads of state, such as the brother in law of China’s president, Xi Jinping. Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, the prime minister of Iceland, has been forced to resign due to his involvement in an offshore company, which caused thousands of protesters to gather at the capital.
Vladimir Putin’s associates have also been named in a large money-laundering scheme. The Kremlin has stated that it believes the allegations against Putin’s friends is nothing more than a ploy to create anti-Putin sentiment.
The papers also showed even more corruption in the FIFA organization due to the former Vice President of the organization, Eugenio Figueredo, owning offshore companies and receiving illegal help from FIFA employees. FIFA has begun a new investigation into the lawyer Juan Pedro Damiani, after the leaked documents revealed him to be giving legal advice to the former FIFA vice president’s offshore companies. In all over eleven million documents were leaked showing scandals worldwide
Another large development was the discovery of banks forming shell companies under Mossack Fonseca. Shell companies are companies created to be inactive and are usually used to transfer funds around. This leak has caused much international outrage as well as investigations worldwide to be done in order to prove or disprove these allegations. The papers have also shown how North Korea has managed to participate in arms deals as well as the development of their nuclear program with the help of a British citizen over the years. One of the more concerning things found by the leak is that many of the UK Prime Minister’s supporters were mentioned in the papers.
Even Prime Minister David Cameron’s father is suspected of having dealings with Mossack Fonseca.
These leaks are continuing to shock the world around as many leaders and financial institutions of the world are implicated. The full scope of these scandals as well as their ramifications are still being discovered. As more and more individuals and companies are being implemented, the public response is becoming more and more heated.
With over thirty years of documents and data to sift through, it is sure that more corruption and scandal will be discovered as well and more public officials will have to deal with the aftermath of such revelations.