Leaked Panama Papers Shed Light on Global Offshore Industry

World | April 4, 2016, Monday // 16:51| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Leaked Panama Papers Shed Light on Global Offshore Industry Photo shows the building where the office of law firm Mossack Fonseca is located in Panama City, Panama, 03 April 2016. 11 million documents from the firm's database were leaked allegedly exposing high profile tax evasion and money laundering. EPA/BGNES

An international consortium of media outlets has published an extensive investigation into the offshore financial dealings of political leaders, movie celebrities and sports starts based on a huge volume of documents reportedly leaked by an anonymous source.

A year-long worldwide media investigation into a trove of 11.5 million documents, leaked from a Panama-based law firm with offices in 35 countries, has exposed a tangle of offshore financial dealings by the elite, including from aides to Russian President Vladimir Putin and relatives of Chinese President Xi Jinping. The documents also name Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko and the king of Saudi Arabia.

Putin isn’t himself named in the documents. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has denounced the allegations at a press conference as “an attack”.

The records from legal firm Mossack Fonseca, the so-called Panama Papers, was obtained from an anonymous source by German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and shared with more than 100 media groups by Washington, D.C.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Mossack Fonseca is one of the world’s leading firms in incorporation of offshore entities. The at the core of the investigation contains nearly 40 years of records, and includes information about more than 210,000 companies in 21 offshore jurisdictions, the ICIJ has said.

Mossack Fonseca has denied allegations of shady dealing, adding that “we have not once in nearly 40 years of operation been charged with criminal wrongdoing."

At least 50 companies, 16 company owners and 78 shareholders from across Bulgaria have been linked to registrations in offshore jurisdictions around the world, according to Sofia-based news daily newspaper 24 Chasa – the ICIJ's only reporting partner from Bulgaria. 

Another 100 people were directors, agents, lawyers or liquidators; some of them were foreign nationals residing in Bulgaria or having Bulgarian passports, while others were Bulgarians living abroad, according to 24 Chasa.

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Tags: Panama Papers, 24 chasa, Mossack Fonseca, ICIJ, Bulgaria
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