The Panama Papers: Corruption’s “Biggest Leak In History”



A whopping 11.5 million documents (2.6 terabytes of the stuff) have been leaked to German paper Süddeutsche Zeitung– the biggest leak in the history of journalism. The documents came from a Panamanian law firm named Mossack Fonseca, reportedly one of the biggest creators of shell companies in the world (companies that sell nothing, created solely to launder money, avoid sanctions and evade taxes), and spans decades- from 1977 to 2015.

According to the German paper, the documents provide “provides rare insights into a world that can only exist in the shadows. It proves how a global industry led by major banks, legal firms, and asset management companies secretly manages the estates of the world’s rich and famous: from politicians, FIFA officials, fraudsters and drug smugglers, to celebrities and professional athletes.”


Süddeutsche Zeitung noted that the anonymous source “wanted neither financial compensation nor anything else in return.”

The German paper collaborated with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), in an investigation that involved more than 370 journalists from 107 news organisations for a year.

“I think the leak will prove to be probably the biggest blow the offshore world has ever taken because of the extent of the documents,” said Gerard Ryle, ICIJ director, to the BBC.

A link to the ICIJ search function.

The leaks include details on 214,000 offshore entities; over 140 politicians have, so far, been directly implicated, including 12 current or former heads of state, from the king of Saudi Arabia to the prime minister of Iceland to the president of Ukraine.

The relatives and associates of those in power have also been linked to some of these entities, from the associates of the Russian president (Sergey Roldugin, Arkady Rotenberg), to the father of the British PM (Ian Cameron) to the cousins of the Syrian president (brothers Rami and Hafez Makhlouf )- the papers seem to indicate that corruption is a global phenomenon.



For its part, Mosssack Fonesca has released a response stating that it conducts thorough due-diligence, “one that in every case meets and quite often exceeds all relevant local rules, regulations and standards to which we and others are bound,” and is simply helping its clients to incorporate companies.

One of the company’s founders, Ramon Fonseca, has called the revelations “a crime”.

“This is a crime, a felony,” he said to AP. “Privacy is a fundamental human right that is being eroded more and more in the modern world. Each person has a right to privacy, whether they are a king or a beggar.”

The ICIJ notes that “29 billionaires from Forbes list of top 500 Richest” have information in the database.

He called the revelations  “an attack on Panama, because certain countries don’t like it that we are so competitive in attracting companies.”

A map that visually depicts where the shell companies are located:


“Banks, law firms and other offshore players often fail to follow legal requirements to make sure clients are not involved in criminal enterprises, tax dodging or political corruption,” the ICIJ said on its website. “The files show that these fixers and middlemen protect themselves and their clients by concealing suspect transactions. In some instances, they work to head off official investigations by backdating and destroying documents“.
Sources: ICIJ, VOX, NPR, BBC, Reddit, RT, Forbes, CNA, Business Insider, Fusion

This article (The Panama Papers: Corruption’s “Biggest Leak In History”) is a free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author(CoNN) and


Get Your Anonymous T-Shirt / Sweatshirt / Hoodie / Tanktop, Smartphone or Tablet Cover or Mug In Our Spreadshirt Shop! Click Here



    • Why is america spotless? I don’t understand that. This is the stuff anonymous and wikileaks should be hacking into. These are the 1 per cent of the people that are grinding the rest of us under. Why can’t someone hack into the swiss banks and the like and show us more neoliberal gods who put profit and greed before any possible alternative.

    • I should clarify that, the US has the military, the leaders are mostly puppets that are directing that and the people, the location that is all coming from does not have to be in the US.

    • well, apparently the investigation is founded by George Soros. Because he is such a great guy, there were no intentions behind that (esecially no geopolitical ones). As always … follow the money behind to get answers…

  1. Hence why they said OFFSHORE accounts. Sadly some of the LARGEST companies in the USA lead the way in corruption. All the dots in Europe and Mexico show just how many Americans use the system.

    • I love how the proof is layed down before you, but yet you still try to convince eveyone that this is all America’s fault lol. You are so laughable, Mr. Gold.

      Mr. Gold?….Jewish much?

  2. The `powerful’ can buy privacy
    Is there a government that actually respects the rights of its citizens?
    Flip off security cameras outside the loo, cleaners will arrive before you close the door

    Everyone has a right to privacy but the corrupt make sure only they can achieve it
    Hope all the work & risk that went into Panama results in at least some justice

  3. The people were already corrupt from the beginning. The money was always at first imagine.
    Let not lie to us. Together we can do much.Together we are strong.

  4. The entire thing is managed and run by a U.S. backed entity, and it is a smear campaign against those the U.S. dislikes. Take that link to the database, and try to search for ANY American …. you will get a message that states ‘Sorry there was an error’.

    Anon: If you are who you claim to be, for the people, then you will expose this for what it truly is: A scam to discredit U.S. ‘enemies’ and bring forth the REST of the database that shows how thick into this America REALLY is.

  5. There has been info on Swiss x Cayman islands before and is likley never going to be in the courts. This is about some powerful people. And we wonder where the pensions of the hard working. People goes.

  6. Thank you! Whoever you are that managed to reach and stick this out for us to see!

    Amazing! It was really about time and hopefully the world will have sanctions for them!

  7. I feel like some of the countries like America got to this information and manipulated it to point it towards countries the U.S. doesn’t like as America and Australia and England appear to be spotless. Just a theory that many people agree with.

  8. America is not spotless. The map cuts off the part that shows America’s results. Zoom out on the map to see Americas info.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here