Panama Papers - Huge tax leak exposes Putin aides, world leaders, stars

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Astronuc
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Panama Papers
PARIS (AFP) - A massive leak of 11.5 million tax documents on Sunday exposed the secret offshore dealings of aides to Russian president Vladimir Putin, world leaders and celebrities including Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.

An investigation into the documents by more than 100 media groups, described as one of the largest such probes in history, revealed the hidden offshore dealings in the assets of around 140 political figures -- including 12 current or former heads of state.
The documents [over 40 years], from around 214,000 offshore entities, came from Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm with offices in more than 35 countries.
Some highlights so far,
-- Close associates of Putin, who is not himself named in the documents, "secretly shuffled as much as $2 billion through banks and shadow companies," the ICIJ said.

-- The files identified offshore companies linked to the family of Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has led a tough anti-corruption campaign in his country, the ICIJ said.

-- In Iceland, the files show Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson and his wife secretly owned millions of dollars of investment in his country's banks during the financial crisis through an offshore company.

-- The law firm of a member of FIFA's ethics committee, Juan Pedro Damiani, had business ties with three men indicted in corruption scandal: . . . .

-- Argentine football great Messi and his father owned a Panama company, Mega Star Enterprises Inc., a shell company that had previously not come up in Spanish investigations into the father and son's tax affairs.
I wonder if any US politicians or businessmen are in the records.


http://www.usatoday.com/story/money...cial-leak-reveals-offshort-accounts/82586798/

The Panama Papers (11.5 million documents, 2.6 terabytes)
http://panamapapers.sueddeutsche.de/en/

Tax evasion and money laundering. :rolleyes:

From ICIJ
Based on a trove of more than 11 million leaked files, the investigation exposes a cast of characters who use offshore companies to facilitate bribery, arms deals, tax evasion, financial fraud and drug trafficking.
 
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  • #2
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Interestingly, major U.S. news stations like CNN and Fox News have no stories about this leak.
 
  • #3
Astronuc
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Interestingly, major U.S. news stations like CNN and Fox News have no stories about this leak.
Maybe by tomorrow they will.

From Fortune - http://fortune.com/2016/04/03/document-leak-panama/
The millions of leaked documents were obtained by reporters at the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which shared them with the ICIJ and other media partners. In the U.S., those partners included Univision, the Miami Herald and The McClatchy Co. Univision-owned Fusion has published a look at the documents and their impact.
While not all of the accounts are illegal or engaged in shady activities, the ICIJ investigation showed that plenty are: The organization said the documents include “at least 33 people and companies blacklisted by the U.S. government because of evidence that they’d been involved in wrongdoing, such as doing business with Mexican drug lords, terrorist organizations like Hezbollah or rogue nations.”
Apparently, the Asad regime in Syria was able to by-pass US and EU restrictions with support from off-shore entities.

Giant Leak of Offshore Financial Records Exposes Global Array of Crime and Corruption
https://panamapapers.icij.org/20160403-panama-papers-global-overview.html
 
  • #4
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What does this really mean for Putin, though? Isn't he pretty much bullet-proof? Is there anyone in Russia who would call him to task for this?
 
  • #5
OmCheeto
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[machine translation(Google) from German to English]
April 3, 2016, 19:55 Panama Papers
revealed secret transactions of hundreds politicians and celebrities in tax havens [Süddeutsche Zeitung]
...
In the coming days about are 100 media publish their results
A data leak of this size, from the journalist material was leaked, it is not known to date not given has. Because the amount of documentation is so huge and the fact the individuals are distributed to so many countries around the world that has Süddeutsche Zeitung research jointly with the International Consortium for Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) organized in Washington. At her appeared about 400 journalists from nearly 80 with countries. In the coming days about are 100 media entitled " Panama Papers" publish their results, including the Guardian , the BBC and Le Monde . In Germany, the NDR and WDR were involved.
...
Twitter is being flooded at the moment.

With so much data, I can understand why they wanted to distribute it to 80 different countries.
That way, everyone can point out their own crooks, liars, and thieves.

Oneindia Hindi ‏@oneindiaHindi 1 minute ago
टैक्स चुराने वालों में अमिताभ, ऐश, नवाज़ सहित कई नामचीन https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61RHyk07S3o… #taxevasion #panamapapers #PanamaLeaks
Translated from Hindi by Google
Tax thieves Amitabh , Ash , including prominent Nawaz


Mohamed Ahmed ‏@mohamed57403545 8 minutes ago
" #وثائق_بنما": أمير #قطر السابق ضمن قائمة تسريبات "إخفاء الثروات" #panamapapers
Translated from Arabic by Bing
" #وثائق_بنما": Prince #قطر previously leaked list "hide wealth" #panamapapers


Στο Κόκκινο 105,5 ‏@stokokkino1055 41 seconds ago
Συνεργάτης του Σαμαρά εμπλέκεται στο διεθνές δίκτυο ξεπλύματος δισεκατομμυρίων http://bit.ly/1S1eBmd #panamapapers
Translated from Greek by Bing
An affiliate of Samara is involved in the international network of http://bit.ly/1S1eBmd laundering billion #panamapapers​

If you want to practice a foreign language, today is the day to do it. #PANAMAPAPERS
 
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Drakkith
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If you want to practice a foreign language, today is the day to do it. #PANAMAPAPERS
I... I can't stop laughing at this!
 
  • #7
mheslep
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What does this really mean for Putin, though? Isn't he pretty much bullet-proof? Is there anyone in Russia who would call him to task for this?
Sure, but those who call out Putin have been shown not to be bullet proof.
 
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Astronuc
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Chinese President Xi's family implicated in Panama Papers scandal
https://www.yahoo.com/news/panama-papers-family-chinas-president-xi-implicated-075633225.html

At least eight current or former members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the ruling Communist Party's most powerful body, have been implicated, highlighting the hot-button issue of wealth among China's ruling elite.
One of the people named in the leaks is Xi's brother-in-law Deng Jiagui, who set up two British Virgin Islands companies in 2009 when his famous relation was a member of the Politburo Standing Committee but not yet president.
The daughter of former premier Li Peng -- who was in power from 1987 to 1998 --- was also identified in the documents.

They revealed that Li Xiaolin, the former vice president of state-run power company China Power Investment Corporation, was the beneficiary of a Liechtenstein foundation controlling a firm registered in the British Virgin Islands during the period when her father was in office.

A granddaughter of Jia Qinglin, a former member of the Politburo Standing Committee, Li Xiaolin was also the sole shareholder in several offshore companies, through which she discretely controlled companies within China.
Interesting how this works. And Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca is just one of how many companies doing this?
 
  • #12
Astronuc
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Law firm in Panama Papers leak is secretive, with big clients
https://www.yahoo.com/news/law-firm-panama-papers-leak-secretive-big-clients-015610842.html

Fonseca had a small business until he merged with Mossack and the two went after off-shore business by opening offices in the British Virgin Islands.
But Mossack Fonseca also branched out to the Pacific, to a tiny island nation called Niue.

According to the ICIJ, by 2001 the firm was earning so much from its off-shore registrations on the island it was contributing 80 percent to Niue's annual budget.

When the British Virgin Islands was forced to clamp down on some methods that had previously permitted anonymous ownership of companies, Mossack Fonseca moved business to Panama and to the Caribbean island of Anguilla.

- Online scrubbing -

The law firm spent money to try to remove online references linking it to money laundering and tax evasion.
Sounds like an organized crime syndicate.

The PBS Newshour has an entire article (and presumably a broadcast) about just this topic:
It looks like various journalist organizations have been sitting on this for some time, just waiting to publish.
 
  • #13
Astronuc
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ILLICIT USES OF OFFSHORE ACCOUNTS:

Shell companies and other entities can be misused by terrorists and others involved in international and financial crimes to conceal sources of funds and ownership. The ICIJ says the files from Mossack Fonseca include information on 214,488 offshore entities linked to 14,153 clients in 200 countries and territories.
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/look-offshore-accounts-used-hide-wealth-avoid-taxes-062616459.html [Broken]
 
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  • #14
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He's like Trump, he could murder someone (or thousands of Ukrainians) and still keep his job.

I've been meaning to start reading a new book I got called https://www.amazon.com/dp/0230341721/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20. Might be a good time now.
Yeah, it looks like just the book for the occasion:
In this hard hitting investigation he uncovers how offshore tax evasion, which has cost the U.S. 100 billion dollars in lost revenue each year, is just one item on a long rap sheet outlining the damage that offshoring wreaks on our societies. In a riveting journey from Moscow to London to Switzerland to Delaware, Shaxson dives deep into a vast and secret playground where bankers and multinational corporations operate side by side with nefarious tax evaders, organized criminals and the world's wealthiest citizens. Tax havens are where all these players get to maximize their own rewards and leave the middle class to pick up the bill.
 
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  • #16
gfd43tg
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Since when did Trump murder anyone? How about comparing Putin to the current administration instead?? Trump can't say a single word without being smeared by the media!!
Trump boasted he could stand on 5th avenue and shoot someone and he wouldn't lose any voters. That's what Greg is referencing.
 
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The Kremlin denounced the disclosures, saying they were mostly aimed at Russian President Vladimir Putin, and claiming former U.S. State Department and Central Intelligence Agency officials helped analyze the 11.5 million documents leaked from Panama's Mossack Fonseca law firm.

Putin allegations

The report said Putin associates have funneled nearly $2 billion through offshore accounts over the years.

"This Putinophobia abroad has reached such a point that it is in fact taboo to say something good about Russia or about any actions by Russia or any Russian achievements," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
http://www.voanews.com/content/pana...find-tax-evaders-offshore-assets/3268470.html
 
  • #19
mheslep
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Here's an article by an 'American' journalist in Moskow:

http://www.voanews.com/content/pana...find-tax-evaders-offshore-assets/3268470.html

Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist based in Moscow, Russia. His articles have been featured in many publications, including Russia in Global Affairs, The Moscow Times, Russia Insider and Rethinking Russia. Bridge is the author of the book on corporate power, “Midnight in the American Empire”, which was released in 2013.
His tone is extremely pro-Putin, and the article is interesting in that it voices the view that this is merely an attempt to discredit Putin by falsely associating him with the activities of acquaintances. This probably represents the standard Kremlin take on this that we'll be hearing repeated.
 
  • #21
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Trump boasted he could stand on 5th avenue and shoot someone and he wouldn't lose any voters. That's what Greg is referencing.
It was a dumb statement that makes no sense.

Putin can literally kill people and get away with it. Trump gets crucified by people like Greg for every statement he makes, whether it's controversial or not to a reasonable, critically thinking person.

What do you think would happen if Trump actually murdered someone???
 
  • #22
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It was a dumb statement that makes no sense.

Putin can literally kill people and get away with it. Trump gets crucified by people like Greg for every statement he makes, whether it's controversial or not to a reasonable, critically thinking person.

What do you think would happen if Trump actually murdered someone???
Let's keep on topic. I'll retract my statement. It was just a little joke.
 
  • #23
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Let's keep on topic. I'll retract my statement. It was just a little joke.
Fair enough.

I suspect some of the juicier contents haven't even been exposed yet. Time to grab the popcorn.
 
  • #24
OmCheeto
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...
It looks like various journalist organizations have been sitting on this for some time, just waiting to publish.
Over a year apparently.
And I wouldn't call it "sitting".
2.4 terabytes divided amongst 400 people is 6 gigabytes of data per person.
Perhaps the plan was, to give everyone a year, to dig up what they could.

https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/634656409066565632/MME6EUXH_normal.jpg [Broken]Bastian Obermayer ‎@b_obermayer
Hello. This is John Doe. Interested in data? I'm happy to share- this is how it started more than a year ago #panamapapers#craziestyearever
1:15 PM - 3 Apr 2016

I wonder what it was about Obermayer, that caused John Doe to pick him.

And who were these 400 journalists, who could keep a secret that long?
 
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  • #25
OmCheeto
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Brief interview with Bastian Obermayer, by Sarah Kelly of Deutsche Welle:


-------------------

11,500,000 documents
--------------------------- = 28,750 documents/journalist
400 journalists
 

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