Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Panama Papers Begin To Take Down World Leaders

  The scandal can be huge. It involves the well-connected and powerful who seek to hide assets and arrangements through Panamanian banks and financial services.
  And it worked... until yesterday.

What are the Panama Papers?

A global team of investigative journalists just got their hands on some leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm which details massive corruption by business & government leaders.

Why Panama?

  Panamanian law offers the most secretive protections of assets in the world. It has garnered the reputation of being the prime location for hiding assets which would otherwise subject the owner to various penalties, taxes, and/or criminal charges.

What do the papers contain?

  "The articles said nearly 215,000 offshore shell companies and 14,153 clients were tied to Panamanian Law Firm, Mossack Fonseca. They linked 143 politicians, their families and close associates — including 12 highly placed political leaders — to the use of tax havens to shield vast wealth."
Iceland's Prime Minister dissolves his government and resigns office.

When did the info go public?

 The files were sent to a German newspaper a year ago, but the details have slowly been leaked out to other sources.

Who are some of those implicated?

  • President Mauricio Macri of Argentina; 
  • President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine; 
  • Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, then the prime minister of Iceland; 
  • Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan; 
  • King Salman of Saudi Arabia; 
  • Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the former emir of Qatar;
  • FIFA officials;
  • Lionel Messi, Argentine soccer star;
  • Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thaniand, former prime minister of Qatar; 
  • close associates of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria;
  • eight current and former members of China’s Politburo;
  • Dozens of influential donors and politicians in Britain, including Ian Cameron, the father of Prime Minister David Cameron.

Are US entities involved?

According to the NY Times;
 "The documents indicated that 3,500 people who owned shares in offshore companies provided the Panamanian law firm with an address in the United States, but that does not mean they are American citizens. Scanned copies of at least 200 American passports were included in the trove of documents, according to McClatchy, which said that many appeared to be retirees using offshore companies to buy real estate in Latin America."

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