‘Panama papers’ reveal world leaders’ cash stashes

Panama Papers reveal global corruption and secrets of the rich.
Panama Papers reveal global corruption and secrets of the rich.

Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, WikiLeaks and all their work of hacks have suddenly looked amateur when compared to this weekend’s jaw-dropping ‘Panama Papers’ leak.

The massive, anonymous exposé — detailed a global network of offshore companies helping dozens of world leaders, athletes and celebrities hide their assets in offshore accounts — has become the biggest news on social media on Sunday after a German newspaper broke the story.

Leaks from the financial documents of a Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, detailing an extensive worldwide network of offshore “shell” companies, including ones with links to Russian President Vladimir Putin and many other current and former world leaders.

Among other revelations included Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson and his wife, stating how the couple bought an offshore company in 2007 but failed to declare that when he entered the parliament of Iceland in 2009.

Hong Kong movie star Jackie Chan was also listed as one of the celebrities who had at least six companies managed through the Panamanian law firm, according to the report. The family of China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, was identified in the records as well.

The Washington, D.C.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ) said the trove of 11.5 million records details the offshore holdings of a dozen current and former world leaders, as well as billinaire businessmen, celebrities and sports leagues.

The data span from the late 197os to the spring of 2016, according to ICIJ, allowing  `a never-before-seen view inside the offshore world — providing a day-to-day, decade-by-decade look at how dark money flows through the global financial system, breeding crime and stripping national treasuries of tax revenues.`

Other organizations named in the scandal included FIFA, the global soccer governing body. A handful of soccer stars from Brazil, Uruguay, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Serbia, The Netherlands and Sweden were also mentioned in the Mossack Fonseca files.

— from wire reports