We know the vast majority of the richest people in the world will do anything to line their pockets even further, but now we know the extent to which they go to achieve this.
An anonymous source contacted German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) last year and detailed the inner workings of Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm that’s about as suspect as LeBron’s hairline. Their business model is simple: sell anonymous offshore companies around the world so the owners of these shell companies can cover up any and all business dealings.
Essentially, Mossack Fonseca is the world’s biggest carpet under which the world’s most rich and powerful sweep all their filthy crumbs so their significant other doesn’t know that they’ve been eating Oreos on the new suede couch.
The anonymous source submitted 2.6 terabytes of emails, PDFs and database files that track hidden money all over the world. If that sounds like an obscene amount of data it’s because it is. The porn collections of Osama Bin Laden, Adam Johnson and that asshole from Subway don’t come close to scratching the surface of how much data this is. In fact, the second largest leak in terms of volume of data is 1/10 the size of the Panama Papers leak.
These 11 million documents provide data on some 240,000 offshore accounts, 14,000 clients, 12 national leaders and 143 politicians. In addition, a massive $2 billion paper trail leads all the way back to Vladimir Putin, and a key member of FIFA’s ethics committee (which is more oxymoronic than Aquaman hating swimming) has also been implicated in the leaked papers that contain dealings from 1977 to December, 2015.
And here’s another fun fact for all you footy fans. Lionel Messi is month 20 other high-profile football stars named in the Panama Papers. This won’t come as a surprise to any Real Madrid fans, or anyone in Spain since the Argentine and his father are going on trial for tax fraud in May. One name that you’ll be really surprised to see associated with the leak is Jackie Chan. Yeah, that got me bummed as well.
Anyway, the Messi family have since dismissed the accusations and are set to sue Spanish paper El Confidential for defamation.
Over 400 journalists have been coordinated to analyze al the data from the leak, which has been ongoing for about a year, and we should expect to see much more in the coming months. But while we wait, here’s Iceland’s PM realizing that he’s boned.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April 3, 2016
And here’s all of Iceland congregating outside his office after his refusal to step down.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April 4, 2016
Mossack Fonseca have since released the following statement:
“Our industry is not particularly well understood by the public, and unfortunately this series of articles will only serve to deepen that confusion. The facts are these: while we may have been the victim of a data breach, nothing we’ve seen in this illegally obtained cache of documents suggests we’ve done anything illegal, and that’s very much in keeping with the global reputation we’ve built over the past 40 years of doing business the right way, right here in Panama. Obviously, no one likes to have their property stolen, and we intend to do whatever we can to ensure the guilty parties are brought to justice.”
“But in the meantime, our plan is to continue to serve our clients, stand behind our people, and support the local communities in which we have the privilege to work all over the world, just as we’ve done for nearly four decades.”
Nice try, lads.
The Prime Minister of Iceland has since resigned and we can expect more of the same as the journalists involved get to the bottom of all this data.