After an extensive investigation that lasted a little more than two years, a series of documents has come to light that reveal the operations carried out in tax havens of 300 authorities and powerful figures from around the world. This recent leak is known as Pandora Papers. As a result, we have developed a short guide with the key questions to understand this event.
What are Pandora Papers and what have they revealed?
The Pandora Papers is the name of a leak of almost 12 million documents, which have exposed cases of hidden wealth, tax evasion and money laundering on the part of some of the most powerful people in the world, including more than 100 billionaires, 30 world leaders and 300 civil servants. Documents have revealed that these figures have used companies offshore to keep his fortune a secret.
What does it mean Offshore?
The concept of offshore refers to a location outside of national boundaries. So the societies offshore They are those that have their headquarters abroad, that is, in any country other than their origin. Regions such as Switzerland, Singapore, the Cayman Islands, and the British Virgin Islands are renowned for having financial centers offshore (OFC), which are also called “tax havens” or “secret jurisdictions.”
In these locations there are laws that hide the identification of those who have own companies, in addition, there the taxes by these companies are low or null, so they are used to hide tax obligations or illegally obtained profits.
Who performed the leak?
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) is the organization that led the Pandora Papers investigation, which has worked with 151 media from 117 countries. More than 600 journalists have contributed to these investigations, which is why it is classified as the largest international collaborative investigation in history.
For its part, the ICIJ is a non-profit organization and an international network of journalists based in Washington, DC It brings together 280 professionals from around the world who work in all types of media, from small news portals to others. traditional and prestigious. The ICIJ was behind the Panama Papers, an investigation for which it won a Pulitzer.
How big is the leak?
There are 11,903,676 documents revealed in total, which have a size of 2.94 TB. The files were created between 1996 and 2020, but there are some that are from 1971. The documents include almost half a million spreadsheets, almost three million images and more than one million emails, corresponding to invoices, shareholder records , passports and articles of incorporation, among other documents. These were delivered by 14 different suppliers specialized in the creation of companies offshore, Trident being the company from which the largest number of documents come: 3,375,331.
What figures are involved in the Pandora Papers?
130 billionaires from 45 countries appear in the Pandora Papers, in addition to 336 politicians and public officials, the majority being from America and Europe. Some of the figures that appear are the presidents Sebastián Piñera of Chile, Guillermo Lasso of Ecuador and Luis Abinader of the Dominican Republic, as well as 11 former leaders of Latin America, such as the Colombians César Gaviria and Andrés Pastrana and the Peruvian Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. Also featured are Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenski, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and King Abdullah II of Jordan.
The research also links entrepreneurs, models, world-famous athletes, such as Manchester City manager Josep Guardiola, and artists such as Ringo Starr, Elton John, Shakira and Julio Iglesias.