‘PANAMA PAPERS’ REVEAL TAX DODGERS OF RICH AND FAMOUS

‘PANAMA PAPERS’ REVEAL TAX DODGERS OF RICH AND FAMOUS

The 11.5 million documents from a Panama-based law firm reveals how top politicians, sports stars and criminals hide their money using offshore tax havens.

The leaked data link at least 12 current and former heads of state and 128 other politicians to illicit financial transaction. Those implicated include Russian President Vladimir Putin, former Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The leak comes from Mossack Fonseca, one of the world’s biggest and most secretive offshore law firms. The firms said it had never faced charges for criminal wrongdoing in its efforts to help clients launder money, dodge tax and circumvent financial sanctions.

The documents, dubbed the Panama Papers, were obtained by the daily newspaper headquartered in Munich, which said an employee at the law firm had leaked the data, telling the newspaper he risked his life in doing so.

The Panama Papers disclose the activities of 214 000 shell companies.

The most widely circulated revelations from the Panama Papers shed light on the financial transactions that have been contributed to the wealth of members of Putin’s inner circle. While Putin’s name does not appear in any of the records, the data revealed a network of secret offshore deals and loans that formed a trail back to him and made his inner circle fabulously wealthy.

The BBC said the data revealed the existence of a money-laundering ring involving the Russian leader’s closest associates and Bank Rossiya, a financial institution subjected to EU and US sanctions in wake of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.