Panamanian archive: as the media giant revealed a network of offshore companies worldwide

“I want to make these crimes public,” said a year ago is unknown to the editors of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, explaining why he decided to transfer to journalists internal documents of the Panama legal company Mossack Fonseca engaged in support of transactions and registration of offshore companies. He thought that placing his life in danger, refused to meet and did not call his name — the publication calls him John DOE (in the United States is the name given to the unknown male). Submitted by John DOE in the following year, the data included 11.5 million pages or 2.6 terabytes of information on the activities of Mossack Fonseca since the early 1970s, and until the spring of 2016. One of the co-founders of the company Ramon Fonseca called the “crime” of leaking the documents that formed the basis of the investigations on offshore schemes of politicians, entrepreneurs and athletes from around the world.

Name Mossack Fonseca has already appeared in the courts in 2014 in the United States heard a case that this law firm allegedly helped the former President of Argentina Nestor Kirchner (died in 2010) to launder money. For more than a hundred companies set up in Nevada. The court sent a request for the disclosure of information, but Mossack Fonseca, a law firm working with anonymous clients, didn’t want to do it, and disown their American branches. In parallel, the staff Mossack tried to destroy part of the documentation or to take them out of U.S. jurisdiction. The informant turned to the Süddeutsche Zeitung as at this time.

The German newspaper was not able to analyze all the material independently and connected to the work of the international consortium of investigative journalists (ICIJ), which in turn appealed to more than a hundred editions and organizations fighting corruption around the world. Just work with the extracted documents has involved more than 370 journalists from 76 countries of the world.

On Sunday they presented the results of their work: “the Panama document” (“The Panama Papers”) they were able to communicate with offshore companies the names of 12 current and former world leaders, politicians 128 and 29 billionaires on the Forbes list. In documents Mossack Fonseca found the names of Mexican drug lords and members of the British house of lords, the stars of world football and bollywood.

“There were many who lied to us, has provided false data, withheld information and tried to scare you, but we’re journalists. We’re used to it,” said RBC submitted the project, the co-founder of the Centre for investigation of corruption and organized crime (OCCRP), based in Bosnia and Herzegovina, journalist drew Sullivan.

The Streisand Effect

Sullivan was one of those who studied East European and Eurasian topics in collective investigation, directly on Russia’s journalists were working. Roman Anin and Olesya Smigun. Twitter results Sullivan announced the day before publication, referring to the press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov: “Tomorrow you will work late nights, factor that into your plans please.”

Sands on March 28 said that against the Russian leadership, first and foremost President Vladimir Putin in the coming days is expected to “information stuffing” — that is the conclusion he made from those sent to him of the request of journalistic consortium.

The report released by ICIJ, argues that people “from the inner circle” of Russian President Vladimir Putin was transferred through offshore companies at least $2 billion in Addition, there are referred to 12 high-ranking officials and members of their families, including the night, which at different times belonged to the company in offshore (in the case of Sand, Inostrannaya the company, according to the authors of the investigation, was established by his future wife Tatiana navcol).

In a conversation with RBC Sullivan has described as absurd the allegation that the investigation was done in order to “demonize” Putin. He stressed that Putin is one of many defendants in the database offshore. “The investigation was attended by about 400 journalists from more than 100 media outlets — it would be a very elaborate campaign against Putin. And for that we would be “tarnished reputation” so many people around the world? It’s nothing,” said Sullivan. He also noted that the project “The Panama Papers” was in no way involved state agencies from USA, EU and any other countries. “We get data from government agencies, some of them provide us with partial financing. But this is journalism, and we are not involved in state structures”, — he said. Sands on Sunday evening said that he will comment on the published information at a later date.

Who funds the investigation

Information about foundations and organizations that Fund ICIJ presented on the website of the consortium. Among these organizations founded by George Soros Foundation “open society”, Foundation “Odessian” (Netherlands), Ford Foundation, Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Sigrid Rausing Trust British, American Pew Charitable Trust and others. Among the organizations that have supported OCCPR, called among other things “open society”, as well as the United States Agency for international development (USAID).

Shadow assistant

Mossack Fonseca has proved indispensable in the market by concealing financial information, according to the authors investigation. Its lawyers and consultants accompanied the transaction on the registration and maintenance of tens of thousands of offshore companies, the clients completely trust her and share with her the information that not always revealed in tax returns.

Data from “The Panama Papers” should, for example, that the daughter of former Prime Minister Li Peng Li Xiaoling and her husband when her father, the Prime Minister owned registered in Liechtenstein Foundation Fondation Silo, which was the sole shareholder of the company Cofic Investments Ltd in the British virgin Islands. The king of Morocco Mohammed VI and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman used the offshore accounts to buy yachts. And investment Fund Blairmore Holdings belonging to the father of British Prime Minister David Cameron — a stock broker and multi-millionaire Ian Cameron — with the help of Mossack Fonseca tax evasion.

From documents Mossack Fonseca also shows that three children of the Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif has registered in the British virgin Islands at least four offshore companies, which owned at least six luxury homes in London’s Hyde Park at a cost of millions of dollars. It also says that actor Jackie Chan owns six offshore companies, managed this law firm. ICIJ stressed that evidence regarding the use of Chan offshore for illegal purposes: “the Possession of such companies are not prohibited by law, and for certain international business transactions is a logical choice.”

In given to the journalists was also figureout the son of the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Kojo Annan, the President of Argentina Mauricio Macri and one of the assistants Cristina fernández de Kirchner, the predecessor Makri on the highest post. There’s also mention of a sister of the former king of Spain Juan Carlos I Pilar de borbón, nephew of South African President Jacob Zuma Clive Zuma, the son of the former President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak, Alaa Mubarak, cousins of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Rami and Hafiz Makhluf of Makhluf, former Prime Minister of Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili and others.

Services Mossack Fonseca used not only politicians and their families: 33 and the company contained in the documents that are under U.S. sanctions for allegedly did business with Mexican drug traffickers, terrorist organizations and dictatorial regimes such as North Korea and Iran.

What is known about Mossack Fonseca

The formation of the Mossack Fonseca, according to journalists, can be associated with one of the crimes of the century — the theft of 7 thousand bars of gold and several boxes of jewels from the vault in the suburbs of London in November 1983. The amount stolen amounted to nearly $100 million or $1 billion in current prices. One of the founders of the Panama company jürgen Mossak then helped to launder stolen, said in the investigation.

The founders of Mossack Fonseca are two businessmen — jürgen Massac and Ramon Fonseca. Mossak was born in 1948 in West Germany Furth. His father, according to the ICIJ, he served in the SS, and in 1960-ies he moved to Latin America where he cooperated with the CIA to counter Communist forces.

Fonseca was born in Panama in 1952. A lawyer by training, in his spare time he is engaged in writing, and over a lifetime he published about a dozen books. Twice (in 1994 and 1998) Fonseca, was the winner of the Panamanian literary prize named Ricardo Miro. Founder and head of the Panama book chamber, Fonseca personally acquainted with the President of Panama Juan Carlos Varela and his Advisor. The last work of Fonseca, was released in 2012 and is called “Mr. Politicus”. As a political Thriller, the book describes the “intricate schemes used by unscrupulous politicians to obtain power and achieve their ambitions”.

The Commonwealth opaque States

Among the others mentioned in the investigation — leaders of several former Soviet States. So registered in 2014 in the British virgin Islands company, Prime Asset Partners Ltd. became the holding company for Ukrainian and Cyprus entities owned by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko Corporation “Roshen”, and the head of the state is its sole owner. Poroshenko did not specify a company in their returns for 2014-2015. Lawyer Poroshenko, the firm’s managing Director ICU, Makar Pasenyuk commented “the Stock BT”, Ukrainian partner of the ICIJ. “The actual transfer of assets to a trust requires compliance with a large number of legal formalities. At the moment, the legal Advisor ensures compliance with such formalities,” — said in response to Pasenjuk. In the Declaration, Prime Assets Ltd. was not specified, because its shares “have no value Roy cost,” he says. But it clarifies the channel, according to the obtained content, the shares of Prime Assets Ltd. still cost $1000, the share value of its Cypriot subsidiary is $2000 and the authorized capital of the Dutch “granddaughter” is $85. Poroshenko attended to your business in an offshore company just in the midst of fighting for Ilovaisk underline the journalists.

Materials Mossack Fonseca give an idea of what worked offshore, associated with the family of Azeri President Ilham Aliyev. That the names of Azerbaijani leader and his wife Mehriban and daughters Arzu and Leyla involve multiple offshore companies, it is known from previous investigations ICIJ 2013. Then the consortium could not figure out what do these companies — from new materials that the funds and companies registered in Panama, were created to hide the share in mining companies and London property. This investigation will be the subject of further publications as well as shady business family of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev is his name also in the list of ICIJ.

The first effects

The international football Federation (FIFA) has already begun check of a member of the Committee on ethics of the organization Juan Damiani. The material from Panama has shown in his law firm and the defendants broke at the end of may 2015 corruption scandal, which cost positions of two key functionaries of the football world Joseph Blatter and Michel Platini — the former President of FIFA and Union of European football associations (UEFA), respectively.

For example, in a statement released April 3, the document notes that J. P. Damiani & Asociados has provided service to the three persons who were charged after, appeared around the international organization’s corruption scandal. In particular, it is alleged that the law firm he worked at least seven offshore companies linked to former Vice-President of FIFA, Eugenio Figueredo, whom U.S. law enforcement authorities filed charges of fraud and money laundering.

In the published materials included the names of former UEFA President Michel Platini, the stars of “Barcelona” Lionel Messi, the former General Secretary of FIFA Jerome Walke, Leonardo Ulloa, a goalscorer “Leicester city”, former Chilean footballer Ivan Zamorano, ex-player “Manchester United” and “real Madrid” Argentine Gabriel Ivan Heinze and players from Brazil, Uruguay, UK, Turkey, Serbia, the Netherlands, Sweden and other countries.

It is not excluded that by results of the publication on Tuesday will happen the first political resignation. On the resignation of the Prime Minister of Iceland Sigmundur of Gunnlaugsson the opposition insists that the island state. According to documents Mossack Fonseca, politician, along with his fiancee (later his wife) owned an offshore company Wintris that held the bonds of the largest banks of Iceland in the amount of about €3.6 million, Respectively, after the nationalization of banks during the crisis of 2008 Gunnlaugsson (popular journalist and aspiring politician) were among the creditors demanding settlement of debts.

A month ago in an interview with Swedish journalists, the Prime Minister vehemently denied the presence of offshore companies in early 2010, he donated his share Wintris the bride. However, on Sunday evening the opposition has already called for the resignation of the Cabinet of Gunnlaugsson and early elections.