CREATIVE ACCOUNTANTS are in shock and on the phone this week after a collection of hacked documents called the Panama Papers exposed millions of pounds' worth of backdoor banking and elaborate tax evasion to the press.
The Panama Papers are a whopping are 2.6TB. They come from Panamanian legal firm Mossack Fonseca, and were leaked to German newspapers. They contain some eye-watering documents from a firm that promises to look after things like crazy cash money, yachts and, if you have them, turtles with bejewelled shells.
There is no obvious sign of any breach on the home page of Mossack Fonseca, but we have approached the firm and asked for a statement on the reported leak. German publication Suddeutsche Zeitung is the host of the leaked money matters, and boy do they make for an interesting read.
The data is still being pored over, but reports so far reckon that they include a paper trail that goes all the way to Vladimir Putin and a chain of documents from FIFA about footballing shenanigans.
Brits are present, and Engadget said that there is a lot of information about local tax schemes and havens.
They are in good, or rather bad, company, including Putin, the prime minister of Iceland, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, and some 70 other heads or former heads of state.
At least one leaked internal document reveals that Mossack Fonseca was aware of its work. "Ninety-five per cent of our work coincidentally consists in selling vehicles to avoid taxes," said one memo.
The papers were leaked to the original German newspaper last year before being fed to 100 journalists and researchers. It has taken them a year to get to where we are today. We hope that the PR people at Mossack Fonseca move faster. µ
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