Pandora papers financial leak shows us the secrets of the world’s rich and powerful. The financial secrets of top politicians, criminals, and billionaires got exposed after the 12 million documents leaked. Pandora’s papers with all the information are now in the limelight.
More appreciation goes to the journalist for the good job done. People see it as one of the biggest stories ever covered by journalists in the financial industry. However, there is also the entanglement of power, which might be useful for some politicians.
Pandora Papers in broad
This involved 11.9 million records with almost 2.94 terabytes of collected information. The data comes from 14 offshore providers, mainly supplying services. In addition, the enterprise manages shell companies and collects taxes from secret business people.
The leaked material was shared with almost 150 media partners, including Background Briefing and ABC’s Four Corners. The distributor of the information was the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The researchers were journalists who appeared in terrorist gangs and tried to go through more than 1000 files. The team managed to collect information from 117 countries.
Almost 330 politicians have found their names on the list, with their secrets exposed. The documents range from 1996 up to 2020.
Are shell companies and offshore trusts legal?
Though some of them might be legal, the secret inside the business is what could turn it into illegal. Experts have talked about bribes, money laundering, terrorism in finance, and even tax evasion. The ICIJ challenged the offshore industry claiming to work under the law with its clients.
Name some big names involved?
Some of the top leaders with private billion-dollar companies are the president of Kenya and Gabon, prime minister of Cote d’Ivoire, and the Czech Republic. Furthermore, King Abdullahi II of Jordan was among the top officials and former presidents of El Salvador, Paraguay, Honduras, and Panama.
More than 130 billion from offshore holdings was in those files. 46 Russian oligarchs and the other 45 countries were the sources of all these.
In addition, we have minor clients like arms dealers, international criminals, sporting giants.
Offshore files had Bollywood actors, supermodels, movie directors, kings lovers, designers, and singers. In general, the offshore had people from the entertainment media.
What about Australia?
A lot of Australian names were found in the files. Bankrupt, small businesses, and prominent board members have a space in the list. The lawyers and accountants played a major role in helping Australia set up its offshore structures.
One of the service providers who found his name on the list is Aciati, a company run by Graeme Bruges, an Australian accountant,
The company has many large clients, like a jailed account from Sydney, Vanda Gould. He made his way behind bars for evading tax. He was free, but after paying $300 million Australian tax. It was the role of Asiaciti to assist Vanda in setting up offshore accounts.
The company has gotten some blows after Singapore charged it with a $1 million fine. An Asiaciti spokesman had this to say: “We recognise there have been isolated instances where we have not kept pace, and in these situations, we have worked closely with regulatory authorities to address any deficiencies and quickly update our policies and procedures.”.
Any bigger leaks like this in the past?
There was a similar leak five years ago, but it had 5times less the information found in the Panama Papers recently. Moreover, at that moment, information was collected only from a single firm. Currently, the data is from 14 offshore firms dealing with different businesses. The providers operate from UAE, Bahamas, Barbados, Panama, Switzerland, Singapore. Other countries are Belize, Cyprus, Anguilla, and the Brutish Virgin Islands.
The records found are in the form of suspicious reports, diligence reports, photos, emails, company records, PowerPoints, tax declarations, spreadsheets, and invoices.
Does the information have any harm to the World?
Yes, of course. The 14 offshore service providers control 10% of the total world economy. Moreover, the hidden money could be useful in developing the World’s roads, schools, hospitals, and other social amenities.
Economists said that developing nations are in the worst hands of suffering because some big names come from those countries. The ICIJ reported that the expected leaders who curb the people evading tax had found their place in the offshore business. The ICIJ director proceeded, “I think what we’re seeing here is a lot of hypocrisy.” The people we expect to end this thing are the top beneficiaries of it.
Who was the source of the leaked documents?
The source only managed to exchange a few words with the ICIJ. He said there was a need to see how the said ‘good people’ involves dirty money. The ICIJ general secretary said the source gave them strict conditions. One was about the safety of his life. The second one was to make sure they published the documents to the World.
The ATO response
The ATO statement showed how they want to identify the Australian links first. Then, they want to compare their data with the Pandora Papers’ information. Back in 2016, the ATP investigated 800 Australians, of which their data had leaked to the Panama papers.
Will Day, the ATO Deputy Commission, said we should not generalize that offshore structures are bad. But most people do use the service to evade paying taxes.
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