1. What are the Pandora Papers.
The Pandora papers are a compilation of a trove of the world’s biggest data leaks on financial acquisitions by some of the worlds richest and powerful leaders and individuals. The Pandora papers consists of Millions of documents revealing detailed offshore deals and assets of more than m100 billionaires, 30 world leaders and 300 public officials. Including Kenya’s Kenyatta Family.
Included in the papers, are emails, memos, incorporation records, share certificates, compliance reports and complex diagrams detailing maze like corporate structures. Which When carefully traced, allow the true owners and beneficiaries of opaque shell companies to be identified.
The Pandora Papers were leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in Washington. The Consortium then shared access to the leaked data with select media partners including the Guardian, BBC Panorama, Le Monde and the Washington Post. More than 600 journalists have sifted through the files in what is becoming one of the world’s largest global investigations.
The Files, represent the latest – and largest in terms of data volume – in a series of major leaks of financial data that have convulsed the offshore world since 2013.
2. What other Major Data Leaks have occurred?
1. The Panama Papers.
Perhaps one of the World’s most significant offshore leaks, the 2016 Panama papers were leaked from Mossack Fonseca a law firm, and consisted of about 2.6 terabytes of Data.
2. The Paradise Papers.
2017 followed the release of the Paradise Papers, from the offshore Bermuda Founded provider Appleby, they consisted of a 1.4 terabyte data trove.
3. The Pandora Papers.
Yesterday’s Pandora Papers are the World’s largest leaked data trove consisting of 2.94 terabytes of data, the files, unlike the 2 previous leaks come from a variety of offshore providers 14 in total and includes locations ranging from the Belize to Vietnam and Singapore and to archipelagos such as the Bahamas and Seychelles.
3. Who are exposed by the Pandora Papers?
1. World Leaders From Kenya To Czech Republic.
More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the ICIJ media consortium.
Some 35 current and former leaders are featured in the latest vast trove of documents analyzed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) — facing allegations ranging from corruption to money laundering and global tax avoidance.
In most countries, the ICIJ stresses, it is not illegal to have assets offshore or to use shell companies to do business across national borders.
But such revelations are no less of an embarrassment for leaders who may have campaigned publicly against tax avoidance and corruption, or advocated austerity measures at home.
In Kenya, for instance, President, Uhuru Kenyatta, has portrayed himself as an enemy of corruption. In 2018, The President, told the BBC: “Every public servant’s assets must be declared publicly so that people can question and ask: what is legitimate?”
He will come under pressure to explain why he and his close relatives amassed more than $30m of offshore wealth, including property in London.
The documents notably expose how Jordan’s King Abdullah II created a network of offshore companies and tax havens to amass a $100 million property empire from Malibu, California to Washington and London.
The Jordanian embassy in Washington declined to comment, but the BBC cited lawyers for the king saying all the properties were bought with personal wealth, and that it was common practice for high profile individuals to purchase properties via offshore companies for privacy and security reasons.
Family and associates of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev — long accused of corruption in the central Asian nation — are alleged to have been secretly involved in property deals in Britain worth hundreds of millions.
And the documents also show how Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis — who faces an election later this week — failed to declare an offshore investment company used to purchase a chateau worth $22 million in the south of France.
“I have never done anything illegal or wrong,” Babis hit back in a tweet, calling the revelations a smear attempt aimed at influencing the election.
2. Celebrities From Shakira To Blair.
Tony Blair and Shakira
The former British prime minister Tony Blair, who has been critical of tax loopholes, is shown to have legally avoided paying stamp duty on a multi-million pound property in London, when he and his wife Cherie bought the offshore company that owned it.
Colombian singer Shakira, the German supermodel Claudia Schiffer and the Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. Representatives for all three told the ICIJ the investments were legitimate and denied tax avoidance.
The “Pandora Papers” are the latest in a series of mass ICIJ leaks of financial documents, from LuxLeaks in 2014, to the 2016 Panama Papers — which triggered the resignation of the prime minister of Iceland and paved the way for the leader of Pakistan to be ousted.
The documents behind the latest investigation are drawn from financial services companies in countries including the British Virgin Islands, Panama, Belize, Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Switzerland.
Agence France-Presse, The Guardian.