The financial secrets of hundreds of worlds leaders, politicians and celebrities have been exposed in a huge leak of financial documents known as the Pandora papers.
The papers feature nearly 12 million files from companies with offshore services in tax havens all throughout the world, which came from 14 offshore financial firms. The files were 2.94 terabytes worth of information. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) received the files and led a team of over 600 journalists from 117 countries (BBC News).
These files include 35 current and former world leaders such as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the King of Jordan Abdullah II, and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (DW.com). Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati, his predecessor Hassan Biab and the governor of Lebanon’s Central bank Riad Salameh. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and members of his party also have money in offshore companies.
Others included the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic and so much more. The Pandora Files include more than 300 politicians with offshore structures and trusts in tax havens from the British Virgin Islands, Seychelles, Hong Kong and Belize (Al Jazeera).
More than 100 billionaires were leaked in the data. Other prominent figures include Shakira and former Indian cricket captain Sachin Tendulkar under the investigation. As noted by The Guardian, setting up or benefiting from offshore entities is not by itself illegal, but secrecy in these tax havens becomes attractive to those seeking tax evasion, fraud and money laundering. These types of people were also exposed within the Pandora Files.