Thursday 7 April 2016
The leak of 11.5m files from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca continues to create upheaval around the world. The documents were leaked to the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, which shared them with the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the Guardian, theBBC and other media organisations.
This is a list of principal revelations by the Guardian.
Mossack Fonseca has been providing updated responses to the revelations on a dedicated website.
The $2bn offshore trail that leads to Vladimir Putin
The papers reveal a network of secret offshore deals and vast loans worth $2bn (£1.4bn) that lay a trail to Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. Though his name does not appear in any of the records, the data shows how deals, that seemingly could not have been secured without his patronage, made members of his close circle fabulously wealthy.
Iceland’s PM faces calls for snap election after offshore revelations
The financial affairs of Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson and his wife have come under scrutiny in the Panama Papers. They show he co-owned a company set up in 2007 in the British Virgin Islands, to hold investments with his wealthy partner, later wife, Anna Sigurlaug Pálsdóttir. Both stressed their financial interests had always been properly disclosed to the Icelandic tax authorities.
Ukraine’s leader set up secret offshore firm as battle raged with Russia
Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, set up a secret offshore company in the British Virgin Islands at a time when his troops were being wiped out in a bloody battle with Russian troops and pro-Moscow rebels. Poroshenko – elected in May 2014 on a promise to clean up Ukraine’s chronically corrupt politics – registered the company in August 2014.
How law firm helped hide millions from the Brink’s-Mat robbery
Laundered cash from Britain’s largest gold bullion robbery was hidden with the help of an audacious plan hatched with advice from Mossack Fonseca’s co-founder, Jürgen Mossack, the papers show. The law firm said the final owner of the company was never made known to Mossack and that the allegations related to Brink’s-Mat were entirely false.
Fund run by David Cameron’s father avoided paying UK tax
David Cameron’s late father, Ian, ran an offshore fund, Blairmore Holdings Inc, that avoided ever having to pay tax in Britain by hiring a small army of Bahamas residents to sign its paperwork. The fund was founded in the early 1980s. It still exsits today, and has never paid a penny of tax in the UK on its profits. It has been registered with HM Revenue & Customs since its inception and has filed detailed tax returns every year.
David Cameron’s father sought legal advice on best tax havens
David Cameron’s father took detailed legal advice about the pros and cons of different tax havens before the fund he had helped set up was transferred to Ireland.
The Cameron network: inherited wealth and family companies
Revelations in the Panama Papers forced Downing Street to fend off questions about David Cameron’s finances. The prime minister said neither he nor his family will benefit from any offshore funds now or in the future. But what of the past? Here, the Guardian sets out how the Camerons made a fortune from inherited wealth and family companies.
Fifa president Gianni Infantino pulled into corruption scandal
The Panama Papers reveal that the new president of world football, Gianni Infantino, has been caught up in the sport’s corruption scandal over deals that were concluded when he was director of legal services at Uefa, European football’s governing body. Uefa has denied any wrongdoing by any of its officials or any other marketing partner and Infantino says that he is “dismayed” that his “integrity is being doubted”. Uefa said Infantino was “an outstanding member of Uefa staff for many years” and “a man who has always acted with complete professionalism and integrity”.
Pakistani PM’s children raised £7m against UK flats owned offshore
When Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, was in opposition, his children raised a £7m loan from Deutsche Bank against four flats in London’s Park Lane owned by offshore companies based in the British Virgin Islands. Sharif and members of his family have always denied any wrongdoing – it is not illegal to own property through an offshore company.
The tycoons and world leaders who built secret property empires
The Panama Papers show how billions of pounds of offshore cash flooded the British property market. World leaders, business people and celebrities are among those whose anonymous ownership of London property has been exposed by the massive leak of the Panama law firm’s data on offshore companies.
From Kubrick to Cowell: Panama Papers expose offshore dealings of the stars
The Panama Papers reveal the names of many wealthy and well-known individuals who have had offshore dealings through companies provided by Mossack Fonseca. Simon Cowell, Stanley Kubrick and Pedro Almodóvar are among the names who appear in the files. There is nothing to suggest that any of those named sheltered, or sought to shelter, money or assets offshore to avoid tax or for any unlawful purpose.
Mossack Fonseca worked with oil firms owned by Iran despite sanctions
The law firm at the centre of the Panama Papers leak acted for an Iranian oil company that had been blacklisted by the US, the documents reveal. Mossack Fonseca realised it was working for Petropars Ltd in 2010 only when another client accidentally fell foul of the US sanctions that had been imposed on the energy firm. Mossack Fonseca said it “routinely” cut ties with clients when they were placed on sanctions lists.
Alleged Mugabe cronies kept offshore firms years after UN alert raised
An arms dealer and a mining tycoon who had sanctions imposed on them as alleged cronies of Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe, were able to continue running their business affairs through offshore companies for years after concerns were first raised about their dealings by the UN and other authorities. Mossack Fonseca eventually cut ties in January 2009 when European sanctions were imposed.
Panama Papers reveal offshore secrets of China’s red nobility
Eight members of China’s Communist party elite whose family members used offshore companies are revealed in the Panama Papers. They include the brother-in-law of the president, Xi Jinping. The leaks draw unwelcome attention to the wealth of leaders’ families, although there is no indication of any wrongdoing.
The French villa at the heart of a Chinese scandal
A villa linked to a British businessman’s murder in an extraordinary Chinese political scandal secretly changed hands just two weeks after his death.
How Mossack Fonseca worked with Australian clients linked to tax investigations
The Panama–based law firm carried on doing business with Australians after they were linked to some of Australia’s most prominent tax avoidance cases.
Samoan diplomat was used to help Mossack Fonseca create shell companies
An officer at Samoa’s high commission in Australia routinely assisted Mossack Fonseca in creating shell companies, files from the firm reveal. One of those shell companies later faced sanctions for supplying goods to the Syrian government and military. The high commissioner said the office was “in no way involved” in the running of the companies.
Response from Mossack Fonesca
For 40 years Mossack Fonseca has operated beyond reproach in our home country and in other jurisdictions where we have operations. Our firm has never been accused or charged in connection with criminal wrongdoing.