Millions upon millions of documents show offshore assets and deals of more than 100 billionaires, 30 top world leaders, and 300 government officials
In the largest trove of offshore data ever leaked, the secrets and hidden assets of some the world’s most powerful and wealthy people were revealed.
The cache is known as the Pandora papers and contains 11.9m files. These files were created by companies that were hired to set up offshore structures and trusts in tax havens like Panama, Dubai and Monaco.
They expose 35 world leaders’ secret offshore dealings, including former presidents, prime minsters, and heads of states. They also expose the secret financial activities of over 300 other public officials, including judges, government ministers, mayors, and military generals from more than 90 countries.
These files contain disclosures regarding major donors to Conservative party. This raises difficult questions for Boris Johnson, as his party holds its annual conference.
The leaked data includes more than 100 billionaires, celebrities, rock stars, and business leaders. Many shell companies are used to secure luxury items like yachts and property, as well as incognito accounts. You can even find art, from looted Cambodian antiquities and paintings by Picasso to murals by Banksy.
The Pandora papers provide rare insight into the workings of an offshore global economy. They allow some of the richest people in the world to hide their wealth, and sometimes pay very little tax.
Emails, memos and share certificates are all available. Compliance reports can also be found. There are complex diagrams that show labyrinthine corporate structures. They often allow the true owners to be identified for first time.
The files were released to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalismists (ICIJ), Washington. The files were shared with selected media partners, including the Guardian and BBC Panorama, Le Monde, Washington Post, and Le Monde. As part of a global investigation, more than 600 journalists looked through the files.
The Pandora papers are the most recent and largest data volume leak in a string of financial data breaches that have shaken the offshore world since 2013.
Although it is legal to set up offshore entities or receive benefits from them, there are some situations where people have legitimate reasons for doing so, such as security. The secrecy provided by tax havens can sometimes be attractive to tax evaders or fraudsters as well as money launderers. Some of these are listed in the files.