Giant Leak of Offshore Financial Records Exposes Global Array of Crime and Corruption
By Phil T Looker: based on documents leaked by The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Apr 3, 2016
The so caalled Panama Papers, the leaked documents from one of the tax haven nation's biggest offshore tax law firms reveal more than the offshore financial interests of top 140 politicians and public officials from around the world Current and former world leaders in the data include prime ministers of Iceland and Pakistan, the president of Ukraine, and the king of Saudi Arabia
More than 214,000 offshore entities appear in the leak, connected to people in more than 200 countries and territories. The leaked documents also show that major banks have driven the creation of hard-to-trace companies in offshore havens. We have previously named HSBC (The Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation) as the largest criminal organisation in the world because of its involvement in large scale money laundering.
It is believed the papers expose the offshore holdings of 12 current and former world leaders and reveals how Russian oligarchs secretly shuffled as much as $2 billion through banks and shadow companies. The leaked data also contains details of the hidden financial dealings of 128 more politicians and public officials around the world.
The cache shows how a global industry of law firms and big banks sells financial secrecy to politicians, fraudsters and drug traffickers as well as billionaires, celebrities and sports stars. These are among the findings of a yearlong investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and more than 100 other news organizations.
Earlier this week we were given a glimpse into some of the American names allegedly contained in the "Panama Papers", largest ever leak. "Some", not all, and "allegedly" because as Zero Hedge queried yesterday, "one can't help but wonder why the leakers have opted for this drip feed release of information, why not do a Wikileaks type data dump, one which reveals if not all the 2.6 terabytes of data due to security concerns, then at least the identities of the tax lawyers clients. After all, with the rest of the world has already been extensively shamed, it's only fair to open US books as well."
The exact same question appeared in an interview conducted between Wired magazine and the director of the organization that released the Panama Papers, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, or ICIJ, Gerard Ryle.
This is what Ryle said:
Ryle says that the media organizations have no plans to release the full dataset, WikiLeaks-style, which he argues would expose the sensitive information of innocent private individuals along with the public figures on which the group’s reporting has focused. “We’re not WikiLeaks. We’re trying to show that journalism can be done responsibly,” Ryle says. He says he advised the reporters from all the participating media outlets to “go crazy, but tell us what’s in the public interest for your country.”
Question now arise about who exactly decides which " ahem innocent private individuals" are to be left alone. Many in the public arena have called for another massive, collaborative effort to get to the bottom of a 2.4TB treasure trove of data which a handful of professional journalists will simply be unable to dig through. Wikileaks has subsequently accused the ICIJ of being a "Washington DC based, Soros funded soft-power tax-dodge" which "has a problem with WikiLeaks."
Later, in another tweet Wikileaks added that the "Putin attack was produced by OCCRP which targets Russia & former USSR and was funded by USAID & Soros who has been waging a hate campaign against Russia for decades. It seems the old reptillian just has not been capable of understanding the Soviet Union is gone."
And so, a new contest is born: one between the "old" mega leakers, and the new Soros backed ones. We wonder if and when Edward Snowden and/or Glenn Greenwald will also chime in.
But most interesting now, is that there appears to be a war brewing between Wikileaks and ICIJ, who what "information" will be released next, and whether whatever comes out will put the entire Panama Papers project in a different perspective, one which, as even Bloomberg has hinted, may have been to benefit the last remaining global tax haven around, the United States itself, as well as the most notorious provider of "tax haven" services in in said country: Rothschild.
Ironically, remembering that George Soros is one of the leading advocates of global government, it seems bizarre that a Soros funded organisation is fronting a war with a system of tax avoidance (perfectly legal measures in all cases) and the industry that spawned that was created by globalisation. Unless of course there is a hidden agenda aimed at destabilising the democracies of the developed world and softening up their freedom loving populations ahead of the imposition of an oligarchical tyranny.