Panama papers

Panama papers . Panama Papers (in English) or Panamaleaks , name with which the largest mass leak of internal documents of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, one of the most important law firms specialized in the creation of offshore companies (paradises) is known. (Prosecutors), whose investigation was conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), created in 1997 at the initiative of the Washington-based Center for Public Integrity and a member of the think tank structure created by the power circles of the United Statesfor its ideological campaigns against progressive political and social destabilization leaders, and the German newspaper Süddeustche Zeitung , which uncovered a broad investigation that revealed the “offshore” accounts owned by wealthy and powerful people, including rulers and former rulers, businessmen, criminals, athletes and celebrities, to hide their wealth [1] [2] .

The United States Department of State acknowledged that Washington financed through the International Development Agency (USAID) journalists who hacked the computers of the law firm Mossack Fonseca to violate private business information [3] .

Summary

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  • 1 Background
  • 2 Mossack Fonseca
  • 3 Research
    • 1 Results
  • 4 References
  • 5 Sources

Background

The Panama Papers take their name from the Pentagon Papers , the name by which a secret report by the United States Department of Defense on the involvement of that government in military and political issues in Vietnam between 1945 and 1967 is known. . The documents came to light thanks to The New York Times .

Mossack Fonseca

Mossack Fonseca is a law firm created in Panama in 1986 , when Panamanian Ramón Fonseca and German Juergen Mossack unified their two law firms under the same name. The firm has a presence on all continents – with European headquarters in London , Luxembourg , Switzerland , Malta and Gibraltar- and is specialized in commercial law and the creation of international structures. It is the second law firm in Panama for incorporation of companies in the local commercial registry and one of the five largest companies in the world in the creation of “offshore” companies, also known as tax havens or tax havens, being places where the creation of commercial companies It is one of the main, if not the only, industry in the country. Its success lies in the enormous tax advantages that citizens of other countries can obtain using these companies and in bank secrecy, necessary to hide assets or patrimony from the tax authorities of each country. These companies can be used simply to accumulate equity, but often have other purposes, such as buying shares,

The firm has been accused on several occasions of helping citizens of other countries to evade their taxes. In February 2016 , the Brazilian police ordered the arrest of five employees of the office for their involvement in the money laundering scheme by executives of the public company Petrobras . In 2015 , a judicial investigation in Germany accused Mossack Fonseca of having helped hundreds of clients of Commerzbank, the country’s second-largest bank, to hide their assets in Luxembourg.

The law firm is managed by Juergen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca Mora, the first founder of the firm, born in Germany in 1948 and moved with his family to Panama, where he obtained his law degree. His father was a Nazi during World War II , in which he served the Waffen-SS ranks, the second was born in 1952 and also obtained his law degree in Panama, but had already studied at the prestigious London School of Economics, this He had a small business until he partnered with Mossack and they both started offshore companies, opening offices in the Virgin Islands.

Investigation

Mark Toner , a spokesman for the US State Department , admitted that Washington funded journalists from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project who hacked into computers at the Mossack Fonseca law firm [4] and He argued that the financing through the International Development Agency (USAID) to a group to violate private business information in the firm was not for “persecuting certain objectives or people”, but for independent journalistic investigations [5] .

A team of more than 370 journalists from a hundred media outlets in 76 countries worked for a year (2015) to analyze the documents and bring to light the secrecy that prevailed in the creation of companies in tax havens around the world. .

The documents covered almost 40 years of internal work for the Panamanian firm, from 1977 to December 2015 and include emails, bank accounts, databases, passports and customer records of the firm, and reveal hidden information on 214,488 offshore companies. connected with more than 200 countries.

The disclosure of the documents had an unprecedented global impact, as the Mossack Fonseca firm has headquarters in 35 countries around the world.

There were more than 11.5 million internal documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, considered one of the five largest world registrars of offshore companies, to which the German newspaper Süddeustche Zeitung had access , the first to obtain the documents. and that you then make available to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) [6] , created in 1997 on the initiative of the Center for Public Integrity, based in Washington and member of the structure of think tanks (Think tanks) created by the united states power circles for their ideological campaigns against progressive political and social destabilization leaders.

The ICIJ is financed, among others, by the Open Society Foundations and the Ford Foundation. The first is directly linked to the well-known financial speculator George Soros, who, in turn, is an active member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the most influential structure of American foreign policy. The second is a foundation that has historically been related to the CIA, and that serves as its facade, like USAID [7] .

The research was coordinated, among others, by organizations such as the Center for Public Integrity, funded by the Ford Foundation, Carneghie Endowment, Open Society and the Rockefeller Foundation [8] .

Results

The Panama Papers allowed demonstration on how wealthy taxpayers, banks and law firms carried out unethical and on the verge of legality operations with the help of Mossack Fonseca. The firm acted as guardian of its clients’ secrecy even when they discovered that they were members of criminal organizations, drug traffickers, corrupt politicians, or tax evaders.

These documents do not indicate that there is necessarily illegal activity, however, shell companies and tax havens (such as Panama) can be used to cover up sources of financial transactions and company property [9] .

In total, 140 politicians from 50 countries of the world appear in the investigation, 12 heads of state and numerous personalities from political, cultural and sports fields. The leak provided data on the alleged financial activities of 128 politicians and public officials from different countries [10] .

The event became a historical milestone for investigative journalism and a denunciation of tax havens and the facilities that hundreds of world personalities have to hide their money in the shade.

This revelation allowed for the first time in history to see the bowels of the world financial system and see how movements through its dark holes fuel crime. It was also the largest journalistic collaboration in history, in which up to 25 different languages ​​have been worked on.

 

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