Pakistan once again in a row loses its prime minister before completing 5 years of the term because supreme court barred him from the office as a head of country’s government. On 28 July 2017, Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif held the second position in becoming the head of a government to abdicate the office, a political repercussion of Panama papers scandal.
The first head was Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson who gave up two days after his name got leaked in the paper that displayed some untold interests related to his wife’s health. They both share mutual compunction and cannot be exculpated of this opprobrium.
The only difference is, Gunnlaugsson resigned from his office just after the publication of Panama Papers revealed his name and this led to the riot in the Iceland last year and Sharif left after the quagmire of legal battle finally came to an end but not in favour of him.
Have you ever wondered why these Panama papers are creating a buzz all across the world? Who leaked Panama Papers? Why it has so much of power that it can become destructive to anyone relating to it. Let’s find out some details about these Panama papers.
What are Panama papers?
There exists a Panamanian law firm- Mossack Fonseca, basically, Panama papers are the leaked documents of this law firm. There was an enormous leak of 11.5 million documents of this firm and on April 2016, these documents disclosed that how the clients of Mossack Fonseca evade themselves from paying taxes, subterfuge law consent and launder money.
Why is Panama Papers leak hitting the headlines
The leak is creating so much of havoc all across the world. There must be something fishy that news channel, media companies’ are covering it too much. The reason behind this shock wave is that some of the elite personalities, celebrities who can be the role model to many, politicians are included in the list of leaked Panama papers.
The documents reveal about the link of minimum 12 current and former heads of state and 143 other politicians to illegitimate financial transactions.
There is no shortage of esteemed personalities and high profile names whether from India or other different countries like- Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, topmost lawyer Harish Salve, relatives of Sharif and Sigmundur, Russian President Vladimir Putin, kins of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and many other prominent names.
The Panama Papers leak also revealed that more than 500 banks, including their subsidies and branches, registered nearly 15,600 shell companies with Mossack Fonseca.
How Panama Papers leaked from such a secretive offshore law firm?
It was soon after the German news paper Suddeutsche Zeitung published in a newspaper that world’s most secretive offshore law firm is exercising for decades to help their clients in evading tax and money laundering.
The newspaper approached Washington-based Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) with these documents. And then this research took place on international level journalists. 107 media outlets in 78 countries were involved in this investigation.
This was the biggest ever leak in the history. 40 years of data was covered in these leaked documents from 1977-2015.
What was the impact of Panama Papers leak across the world?
Here we have a list of few instances:
- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried to inquire about Panama Papers leak but the government told that it’s a complicated process and it requires a multi-agency group which will include officers from the investigative unit of the Central Board of Direct Taxes and its Foreign Tax and tax research division, Reserve Bank of India and Financial Intelligence Unit.
- As we have already discussed, Prime Minister of Iceland, Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, resigned from his office after the media coverage of this subterfuge.
- Countries like Colombia and France proclaimed Panamanian firm as a Tax haven for the people and the businesses. This helped the government in restraining tax evasion and then they exhorted the Central American country to sign a financial information-sharing agreement.
- Gonzalo Delaveau, president of the Chilean branch of Transparency International, resigned after documents from the Panamanian law displayed his link with at least 5 offshore companies.
Exploring more about Tax Haven Of Mossack Fonseca
- Mossack Fonseca & co. is a Panamanian law and corporate service provider with more than 40 offices worldwide.
- Founded in 1977, it is a leading global company which gives extensive legal and trust services.
- It is specialized in commercial law, trust services, investor advisory, international structures.
- It also offers maritime law services and Intellectual pproperty protection.
- It performs in countries like Switzerland, Cyprus and British virgin Islands and in the Britain independently administered jurisdiction Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of man.
(Author Stuti Agarwal is graduated in Bachelor of journalism and mass communication from Banasthali University, she wants to open her own channel in her city so she’s currently working on a start-up Moradabad live. She’s a freelancer at content writing, charismatic reader and a book reviewer.)