Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Panama Papers

In what could be the biggest leak in the history of banking, 11 million documents held by a Panama-based company, Mossack Fonseca, have been leaked to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung. The newspaper, overwhelmed by the number of documents they received, then shared the information with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Now world leaders, sport stars, movie stars and dozens of billionaires are in damage control, scrambling to defend their secret accounts and money. It will not be easy because the ICIJ has about 40 years of emails, financial records and passport details on record. Now the newspaper in the West are proudly saying that aides and relatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have accounts in Mossack Fonseca but in all fairness, people in the West aren’t that innocent.

Among those named in the papers are big names like movie star Jackie Chan, football star Lionel Messi, over 2 dozens billionaires, relatives of British Prime Minister David Cameron and even the current Prime Minister of Iceland, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson. Outside them, there are also the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the king of Saudi Arabia, the children of the president of Azerbaijan, Ponzi schemers, drug kingpins, and tax evaders.

So whether you are from the East, West, North or South, there is no difference. When it comes to dirty money, I guess people are the same everywhere. 

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