Panama Papers: Data leak reveals off-shore accounts for rich and powerful

World Today

It’s being called the biggest data leak in history: Eleven and half million files dubbed “The Panama Papers” detail tax havens often used by the rich and famous.

The documents all leaked from one law firm which has offices around the world.

CCTV America’s Nathan King reports.

Panama Papers Data leak reveals off-shore accounts for rich and powerful

It's being called the biggest data leak in history: Eleven and half million files dubbed "The Panama Papers" detail tax havens often used by the rich and famous. The documents all leaked from one law firm which has offices around the world. CCTV America's Nathan King reports. Based in Panama, most of the world hadn't heard of Mossack Fonseca until now. The huge document dump shows us the global extent of the use of tax havens and the sheer scale. The banks, law firms and middlemen working on behalf of clients came from everywhere: Hong Kong, Switzerland, the U.K., Luxembourg and Panama are the Top five. And where do these entities put their money? By far the largest tax haven is the British Virgin Islands, with one out of every two incorporations there. The second Panama, then the Bahamas, followed by Seychelles. Mossack Fonseca is one of the top five firms in the world for the creation of so-called "shell companies" off shore. This is perfectly legal to do, but these structures can also be used for tax evasion and laundering illicit money from crimes or corruption. The company says it is doing nothing wrong. There are hundreds of as yet unsubstantiated allegations against high profile people. Iceland's Prime Minister has been implicated in these documents. Though, he has rejected any illegal or improper behavior, tax experts believe some illegal activity in connection with this leak is inevitable. Now, country after country has announced investigations into citizens that may have used these companies illegally from the U.S. to Europe, governments were already cracking down on tax evasion and corruption, too.

Based in Panama, most of the world hadn’t heard of Mossack Fonseca until now. The huge document dump shows us the global extent of the use of tax havens and the sheer scale.

The banks, law firms and middlemen working on behalf of clients came from everywhere: Hong Kong, Switzerland, the U.K., Luxembourg and Panama are the Top five.

And where do these entities put their money?

By far the largest tax haven is the British Virgin Islands, with one out of every two incorporations there. The second Panama, then the Bahamas, followed by Seychelles.

Mossack Fonseca is one of the top five firms in the world for the creation of so-called “shell companies” off shore. This is perfectly legal to do, but these structures can also be used for tax evasion and laundering illicit money from crimes or corruption. The company says it is doing nothing wrong.

There are hundreds of as yet unsubstantiated allegations against high profile people. Iceland’s Prime Minister has been implicated in these documents. Though, he has rejected any illegal or improper behavior, tax experts believe some illegal activity in connection with this leak is inevitable.

Now, country after country has announced investigations into citizens that may have used these companies illegally from the U.S. to Europe, governments were already cracking down on tax evasion and corruption, too.


Global advisor Cenk Sidar on The Panama Papers

CCTV America’s Mike Walter interviewed Cenk Sidar, founder and CEO of Sidar Global Advisors about The Panama Papers.

Global advisor Cenk Sidar on The Panama Papers

CCTV America's Mike Walter interviewed Cenk Sidar, founder and CEO of Sidar Global Advisors about The Panama papers.

Global advisor Cenk Sidar on The Panama Papers pt 2

CCTV America’s Rachelle Akuffo interviewed Cenk Sidar, founder and CEO of Sidar Global Advisors about The Panama Papers.

Global advisor Cenk Sidar on The Panama Papers pt 2

CCTV America’s Rachelle Akuffo interviewed Cenk Sidar, founder and CEO of Sidar Global Advisors about The Panama papers.