Home News Worldwide leaders scramble after Panama Papers What you should know

Worldwide leaders scramble after Panama Papers What you should know

by Zaryyab Salman

The exhaustive list of foreign leaders and famous people exposed in a massive leak of confidential documents held by a Panamanian law firm illuminates a sprawling network of offshore investment accounts often used to make secretive investments and pad luxury lifestyles.

Expensive yachts, luxury homes in London, ownership of a candy company, investments in construction companies are just a sampling of the benefits reaped from these complex financial dealings, many of which may be entirely legal. They reveal the inner workings of the financial lives of those with wealth and power across the globe.

The swath of 11.5 million records — already known as the Panama Papers — made its way into the hands of the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and then the U.S.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, part of the Center for Public Integrity.

Together, the news organizations coordinated a massive onslaught of investigative reports on the revelations found in the documents.

The list of people tied to offshore activities includes about 140 politicians from more than 50 countries, including 12 current or former heads of state, with links to Panama law firm Mossack Fonesca.

“We have not once in nearly 40 years of operation been charged with criminal wrongdoing,” the law firm’s spokesman, Carlos Sousa, told McClatchy DC. “We’re proud of the work we do, notwithstanding recent and willful attempts by some to mischaracterize it.”

Mossack Fonseca director Ramon Fonseca told Reuters that his firm was the victim of targeted hacking that exposed the documents. He said the “vast majority” of the offshore companies set up by his firm were for “legitimate purposes.”

List of people named in the Panama Papers

This is a partial list of individuals named in the Panama Papers as shareholders, directors and beneficiaries of offshore companies. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) says it will release the full list of companies and people in the Panama Paper files in early May.

ICIJ published the following disclaimer with regard to the data provided: “There are legitimate uses for offshore companies, foundations and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities included in the ICIJ Power Players interactive application have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly.

Government officials

Current or former heads of state or government of their country as defined by their political position at the time of announcement, not whether the documents in the Papers relating to them coincided with their period of office.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri

Saudi Arabian King Salman

United Arab Emirates President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko

Former heads of state

Heads of government

Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson resigned on April 5, 2016
Former heads of government

Other government officials

  • Ian Kirby, President of the Botswana Court of Appeal and former Attorney General
  • Alfredo Ovalle Rodríguez, intelligence agency associate
 Democratic Republic of the Congo
 Republic of the Congo
  • Bruno Itoua, Minister of Scientific Research and Technical Innovation and former Chairman of the SNPC
 North Korea
  • Kim Chol Sam
  • Emmanuel Ndahiro, brigadier general and former chief of the intelligence agency
 Saudi Arabia
 United Kingdom

Relatives and associates of government officials

  • Idalécio de Castro Rodrigues de Oliveira, potential briber of the Brazilian President of the Chamber of Deputies Eduardo Cunha and a Portuguese entrepeneur
 Ivory Coast
  • Mohd Nazifuddin Najib, son of Prime Minister Najib Razak and his cousin Shai
 South Africa
 South Korea
 United Kingdom
 United Nations

Sports personalities

Association football

Persons associated with the world governing body FIFA
Football players


Other sports

Entertainment personalities

Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan

Business people

Organised crime

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