Today several major media outlets have posted the results of an investigation into the financial dealings of some of the rich and powerful, based on a huge number of documents that have been handed over by an anonymous source.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ), a nonprofit group in the US, said the cache of 11.5 million records detailed the offshore holdings of a dozen current and former world leaders, as well as businessmen, criminals, celebrities and sports stars.
Some of the sitting world leaders named in the papers associated with leak are Argentine President Mauricio Macri, Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko.
The documents also apparently link at least 12 current and former heads of state and 143 other politicians to illicit financial transactions. Additionally 140 offshore companies named in the documents are connected to politicians or public officials and their families.
There are also reports that say the documents show details of how Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle became wealthy. If you are up on world affairs you might have heard that a friend of Putin’s, Sergei Roldugin, is alleged to be at the centre of a scheme in which money from Russian state banks is hidden offshore. So if these documents are proven true, this could lend insight into that case.
Investigators in the US believe one of the offshore companies mentioned in the documents supplied fuel for jets the Syrian government used to bomb and kill tens of thousands of people.
Also revealed in the documents was a shell company in Panama owned by the football star Lionel Messi and his father. Spanish investigators are currently probing Messi for tax evasion.
As more information is uncovered, we will see how this impacts each of the world leaders, banks and businessmen that are said to be noted in all the information.