In the biggest-ever leak of offshore data, secrets deals and hidden assets of many of the strongest and wealthiest people in the world has been revealed. Released under the brand name of Pandora Papers, the highly anticipated investigation that included around 600 journalists from different media is based on the leaked 11.9 m files from 14 financial services.
The file includes the list of different companies hired by wealthy clients to create offshore structures and trusts in the tax havens like Panama, Dubai, Switzerland and others.
More than a dozen heads of State and Government have amassed millions through these offshore deals. They include the king of Jordan and the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. Pandora Papers revealed these details, published after an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
The list includes offshore affairs of 35 world leaders, including the current and former heads of the States. Not just this, the papers also contain the information of the assets amassed by other public officials, business leaders, and celebrities.
Many wealthy people hide their money and luxury items like yachts and evade taxation using Shell companies. The Pandora Papers provide a glimpse of the hidden- Shadow Financial World and describes how the entire money movement is monitored and governed!
Pandora Leak: What is it?
The Pandora papers are several emails, memos, incorporation records, share certificates and other complicated reports of corporate structures. These clues allow the identification of actual owners of opaque Shell Companies for the first time!
These files were leaked to the ICIJ (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) in Washington DC. The ICIJ shared the Pandora Leaks data with its partner media companies like the Guardian, BBC Panorama, Washington Post, etc. As part of a massive global investigation, around 600 journalists have looked through the data.
Though offshore deals are not entirely illegal, at times, the tax havens tend to attract tax evaders. At times, such agreements are also done for legitimate reasons like security, but because of the secrecy of the process, it costs the Governments billions in the form of lost revenues.
How long will the investigations go?
The Pandora Leaks investigations are expected to continue for the next 18 months. The amount of data revealed is the greatest in the history of offshore deals, and hence the investigations will also take a considerable amount of time. However, the media houses will continue releasing the updates in the coming days. The entire process will begin with the revelations of the offshore assets and financial affairs of some of the most influential world leaders.
US- a hidden tax haven!!
The Pandora Papers have revealed many spotlights of the entire offshore system itself. The documents show that the United States emerged as a leading tax haven in the Pandora Leaks. The development might be embarrassing and upsetting for the US President, Joe Biden, who has pledged on several occasions to bring transparency into Global financial affairs.
The files expressly point out South Dakota, sheltering billions of dollars of wealth linked to people who have a history of serious financial crimes!
The offshore trail stretches far and wide from Asia to Africa to Latin America. The Pandora Papers leak is likely to increase the difficulty of many and pose serious questions to the credibility and image of many politicians!