‘Panama Papers’ spark global probes

By WND Staff


A leak of millions of pages of documents from a Panama City law firm has shed light on the shadowy world of tax shelters for the 1 percenters, but a spokesman for the firm that was hit says it’s all part of an “international campaign against privacy.”

According to a Reuters report, the newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung in Germany got a dump of about 11.5 million documents from the law firm’s database.

The pages immediately were shared with more than 100 additional news outlets around the world as well as the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Reuters said Ramon Fonseca, the director of Mossack Fonseca, which specialized in setting up offshore companies, confirmed what he called a “limited” hack.

Trust the government? Maybe you shouldn’t. Read the details in “Lies the Government Told You,” by Judge Andrew Napolitano.

The ICIJ reported there were details about billions of dollars of financial trasnactions involved.

“Britain’s Guardian newspaper said the documents showed a network of secret offshore deals and loans worth $2 billion led to close friends of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin dismissed the report as aiming to discredit Putin ahead of parliamentary elections,” Reuters reported.

Fonseca denied that his firm was responsible for activities of the results of its incorporation programs. He also said the “vast majority” of the 240,000 companies it has set up are “legitimate.”

“We believe there’s an international campaign against privacy. Privacy is a sacred human right (but) there are people in the world who do not understand that and we definitely believe in privacy and will continue working so that legal privacy can work,” Fonseca told Reuters.

USA Today reported the transfer of data was about 2.6 terabytes – or about 2,600 gigabytes, and the pages detailed how leaders, celebrities and profile names from around the world get shell companies that can cover up dealings and hide money.

The report said the source provided the information because he wanted “to make these crimes public.”

The reports said formers heads of state, and current heads of state, were named in the pages.

“The ICIJ had helped coordinate on other projects on tax havens and tax evasion involving the newspaper known as Offshore Leaks, Lux Leaks and Swiss Leaks,” the report said. “In one case two years ago, a whistleblower sold internal Mossack Fonseca data to German authorities. That data was much older and smaller in scope, the newspaper said. It addressed a few hundred offshore companies and led investigators to search the homes and offices of about 100 people.”

What’s being dubbed the “Panama Papers” included emails, pdf files, excerpts from internal files and covered events from the 1970s through last year.

“The sheer number of people we found in the data is becoming clear to us – dictators, Japanese mafia, Sicilian mafia, Russia mafia, weapons dealers, drug dealers, pedophiles,” Frederik Obermaier, who worked on the project, said in a video.

Trust the government? Maybe you shouldn’t. Read the details in “Lies the Government Told You,” by Judge Andrew Napolitano.


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