One had links to North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.
11 Million leaked documents: 12 world leaders, British politicians, etc. ~ link ~
A host of celebrities, sports stars, British politicians and the global rich are all implicated in the so-called Panama Papers - a leak of 11million files which contain more data than the amount stolen by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden in 2013.
Lord Ashcroft, Baroness Pamela Sharples and former Tory MP Michael Mates are the only British politicians who have been named in the data release so far, while several dictators make up the 12 world leaders listed.
Leaks spur global investigations ~ link ~
Iceland's PM faces calls for snap election ~ link ~
Iceland’s prime minister is this week expected to face calls in parliament for a snap election after the Panama Papers revealed he is among several leading politicians around the world with links to secretive companies in offshore tax havens.
The financial affairs of Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson and his wife have come under scrutiny because of details revealed in documents from a Panamanian law firm that helps clients protect their wealth in secretive offshore tax regimes. The files from Mossack Fonseca form the biggest ever data leak to journalists.
Iceland's Prime Minister walks out of Swedish television interview ~ link ~ link ~
The prime minister of Iceland has walked out of an interview with Sweden's public broadcaster, after being questioned over his use of an offshore company.
Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson has been accused of hiding millions of dollars of investments behind Wintris, which he bought with his wife in 2007.
Former PM calls on Iceland PM to resign ~ link ~
One of the more prominent names featured in the Panama Papers disclosure is that of Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson. The reason is that according to the leaked files, Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson and his wife secretly owned a company called Wintris set up in 2007 on the Caribbean island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, to hold investments with his wealthy partner, later wife, Anna Sigurlaug Pálsdóttir.
As Guardian reports, the couple were living in the UK at the time and had been advised to set up a company in the tax haven in order to hold and invest substantial proceeds from the sale of Pálsdóttir’s share in her family’s business back in Iceland.
Map of how Mossack Fouseca operated a global network ~ link ~
- Secretive law firm Mossack Fonseca is based in Panama but has branches in more than 35 cities around the world
- Success relies on a network of banks and accountants who put clients in touch with the firm to manage their assets
- Work with Mossack Fonseca to create thousands offshore accounts, which can be used to conceal financial affairs
- Thousands of accounts were requested by major financial institutions including, Coutts, Rothschild and HSBC
SZ said it received the law firm’s documents a year ago from an anonymous source who “wanted neither financial compensation nor anything else in return.”
The German paper obtained further documents in an investigation that followed, involving “400 journalists from more than 100 media organizations in over 80 countries.”
SZ said it decided to analyze the data in cooperation with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
And, to top it off, there is one specific firm which is spearheading the conversion of the U.S. into Panama: Rothschild.
Rothschild, the centuries-old European financial institution, has opened a trust company in Reno, Nev., a few blocks from the Harrah’s and Eldorado casinos. It is now moving the fortunes of wealthy foreign clients out of offshore havens such as Bermuda, subject to the new international disclosure requirements, and into Rothschild-run trusts in Nevada, which are exempt.
As the shock from the initial revelation of leaked Mossack Fonseca files fades away, one recurring question has emerged: why were there no American clients of the firm named (at least not yet)? After all, leaders in Iceland, Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Australia and many other nations are already facing questions about their use of the Panamanian law firm
According to Higgins, "if Panama had ever been an attractive destination for American offshore storage of funds, this agreement shut the door on that possibility." Perhaps. However that does not explain why according to an interactive map created by Brian Kilmartin which lays out shotgun data (no names) about the number of companies, clients, beneficiaries and shareholders of Mossack Fonseca, there are at least 441 clients, 3,072 companies, 211 beneficiaries and 3,467 U.S.-based shareholders of the Panamanian law firm.
Mega-Rich Politicos ~ link ~
Here is a listing of current and former world leaders connected to the files. Check out Dirty Little Secrets, Fusion’s full investigation into the leak and the underworld it exposes.
For additional information on these names and more, read “The Power Players,” an interactive presentation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), from which much of this information is gleaned.
More than 200,000 companies, foundations and trusts are contained in the leak of information which came from a little-known but powerful law firm based in Panama called Mossack Fonseca, whose files include the offshore holdings of drug dealers, Mafia members, corrupt politicians and tax evaders – and wrongdoing galore.
The law firm is one of the world's top creators of shell companies, which can be legally used to hide the ownership of assets. The data includes emails, contracts, bank records, property deeds, passport copies and other sensitive information dating from 1977 to as recently as December 2015.
2.6 TB of leaked date: Global Elite Crime Network ~ link ~
In the months that followed, the number of documents continued to grow far beyond the original leak. Ultimately, SZ acquired about 2.6 terabytes of data, making the leak the biggest that journalists had ever worked with. The source wanted neither financial compensation nor anything else in return, apart from a few security measures.
The data provides rare insights into a world that can only exist in the shadows. It proves how a global industry led by major banks, legal firms, and asset management companies secretly manages the estates of the world’s rich and famous: from politicians, Fifa officials, fraudsters and drug smugglers, to celebrities and professional athletes.
Panama Papers - video ~ link
The buyers turned up in a massive leak of secret files from offshore companies
Flood of foreign cash helps crowd locals out of hot housing market