Pandora Papers: Largest Ever Document Leak Exposes Financial Secrets Of Rich And Powerful
The Pandora Papers comprise approximately 12 million documents from 14 different corporations, leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in Washington DC.
The leaking of the Pandora Papers appears to be the largest leak of offshore data ever, revealing the financial secrets of the rich and powerful, including how they store their cash and avoid paying taxes. The Pandora Papers comprise leaks from 14 corporations involving 12 million documents that it has taken 600 journalists a year to shift through.
There are now many allegations stemming from the papers. Investigators claim Czech prime minister Andrej Babis used offshore companies to purchase a £13 million chateau in the French Riviera. Responding to the claims via Twitter, Mr Babis said: “I have never done anything illegal or wrong, but that does not prevent them from trying to denigrate me again and influence the Czech parliamentary elections.”
Pete Jones from the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project says the Pandora Papers show a whole new ball game of tax avoidance and concealment of assets. “Previous leaks have sometimes been dismissed by the industry as: there was one bad apple, but, you know, we’re not all like this, whereas this leak shows the inter-connectedness of the offshore world,” Jones said. “I think it shows that in a lot of cases, the system is not really being abused, it’s being used precisely as it was designed to be used and it really pulls back the veil of secrecy that hangs over this offshore world.”
The papers further demonstrate what was already widely known, that the rich and powerful have access to methods of avoiding tax that are not available to the general population. While these methods used by the rich and powerful may not be illegal, many believe that they are nonetheless morally questionable.