Pandora Papers Reveal Shady Financial Dealings of World Leaders

Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) - COSP8. Photo: UNODC (Representational Image)
Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) – COSP8. Photo: UNODC (Representational Image)

Millions of leaked documents and the biggest journalism partnership in history have uncovered financial secrets of 35 current and former world leaders.

By RMN News Service

A massive leak of financial documents has exposed the hidden assets of some of the world’s most rich and powerful people. Called the Pandora Papers, the documents reveal the inner workings of a shadow economy that benefits the wealthy and well-connected people at the expense of others.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) obtained nearly 12 million files from various companies hired by wealthy clients to create offshore structures and trusts in tax havens such as Panama, Dubai, Monaco, Switzerland, and the Cayman Islands.

Millions of leaked documents and the biggest journalism partnership in history have uncovered financial secrets of 35 current and former world leaders, more than 330 politicians and public officials in 91 countries and territories, and a global lineup of fugitives, con artists, and murderers.

In its report on October 3, ICIJ said the secret documents expose offshore dealings of the King of Jordan, the presidents of Ukraine, Kenya and Ecuador, the prime minister of the Czech Republic and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The files also detail financial activities of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “unofficial minister of propaganda” and more than 130 billionaires from Russia, the United States, Turkey, and other nations.

The leaked records, according to ICIJ, reveal that many of the power players who could help  bring an end to the offshore system instead benefit from it – stashing assets in covert companies and trusts while their governments do little to slow a global stream of illicit money that enriches criminals and impoverishes nations.

Of the 300-plus Indian names, according to The Indian Express report of October 4, the offshore holdings of as many as 60 prominent individuals and companies were corroborated and investigated. These will be revealed in the coming days, the report added.

Reports suggest that so far four Indian names have come out as part of the ‘Pandora Papers’. These are Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Ambani, the sister of Nirav Modi, and the husband of Kiran Mazumder Shaw.

As the Pandora Papers are revealing the secret financial dealings of celebrities and leaders, BBC has reported the cases from some of the countries covered by the investigators.

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Rakesh Raman