How hundreds of journalists revealed the secrets of some of the world’s most powerful people
About the Panama Papers
By Frederik Obermaier, Bastian Obermayer, Vanessa Wormer and Wolfgang Jaschensky
Over a year ago, an anonymous source contacted the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) and submitted encrypted internal documents from Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm that sells anonymous offshore companies around the world. These shell companies enable their owners to cover up their business dealings, no matter how shady.
In the months that followed, the number of documents continued to grow far beyond the original leak. Ultimately, SZ acquired about 2.6 terabytes of data, making the leak the biggest that journalists had ever worked with. The source wanted neither financial compensation nor anything else in return, apart from a few security measures.
“The data provides rare insights into a world that can only exist in the shadows. It proves how a global industry led by major banks, legal firms, and asset management companies secretly manages the estates of the world’s rich and famous: from politicians, FIFA officials, fraudsters and drug smugglers, to celebrities and professional athletes,” according to Süddeutsche Zeitung.
The cache of 11.5 million files includes names of very popular and prominent figures. Some of the names on the list are: Alaa Mubarak (Son of Former Egyptian President), Kojo Annan (Son of former United Nations Secretary General), Ayad Allawi (Ex-Prime minister of Iraq), King Salman bin Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud (King of Saudi Arabia), Li Xiaolin (daughter of former Chinese Premier Li Peng),
Indians in Panama Papers list: Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, KP Singh, Iqbal Mirchi, Adani elder brother