Meaning of Panama Papers

What are the Panama Papers:

Panama Papers (or Panama Papers in English) refers to a vast journalistic investigation into the leak of 11.5 million documents of the Panamanian law society Mossack Fonseca, whose main business activity was to create and manage companies offshore that were used for money laundering in tax havens.

The Panama Papers uncovered a global scheme of capital concealment, money laundering and tax evasion in which politicians, leaders and public figures are implicated.

It is managed that there are more than 140 politicians and people of recognized trajectory related to more than 214,000 entities that are dedicated to tax evasion that are in more than 200 countries around the world (none of them in the United States of America).

For example, it has been discovered that there are seventy-two heads and former heads of state involved, such as the Ukrainian Petró Poroshenko, the Argentine President Mauricio Macri, or the former Prime Minister of Iceland, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson.

People close to leaders are also implicated, such as the father of David Cameron, former British prime minister, or a friend of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. The footballer Lionel Messi also appears linked to societies offshore.

The investigation of the Panama papers was possible thanks to the delivery of 2.6 terabytes of confidential information by an anonymous source to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which in turn shared it with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which took the investigation on a global scale.

Societies offshore

The societies offshore are those companies that are domiciled in countries or regions that offer them certain tax advantages, even if they do not carry out any financial activity there. Why is this happening? Well, because for some companies or citizens it is, in terms of taxation, more convenient to open a company offshore to do business from your home country.

The countries that offer these facilities, usually located in island or remote regions, are known as tax havens, because in addition to tax advantages, they offer strict discretion and confidentiality. For this reason, sometimes there are those who use companies offshore for illegal or morally reprehensible purposes, such as money laundering, tax evasion or the concealment of money. This was what was discovered in the Panama Papers with the leak of documents from the Mossack Fonseca law society.

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