What do you know about the controversial Panama Papers that has leaked millions of hidden files about leaders, politicians, footballers and celebrities who stole and hid money abroad?
A huge leak has shown how world leaders, their families and their associates use tax havens to hide their riches. But what are the Panama Papers?
What are the Panama Papers?
The Panama Papers consist of more than 11 million documents leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which offers offshore services.
The scandal is one of the biggest data leaks ever, eclipsing the leak by whistleblower Edward Snowden and the Wikileaks controversy.
The Panama Papers, which include more than 2.6 terabytes of leaked data, show how the rich and powerful use offshore tax havens.
Who leaked the Panama Papers?
An anonymous source leaked the files to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
The files were then shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
The ICIJ’s year-long investigation involved more than 100 publications from nearly 80 countries.
What is Mossack Fonseca?
Mossack Fonseca is a large international law firm which specialises in helping to set up offshore companies in tax havens.
Founded in 1977, the industry leader has headquarters in Panama and other offices in more than 40 countries around the world.
Mossack Fonseca has defended its conduct, denied wrongdoing and said it has “operated beyond reproach” for over 40 years.
Who is in the Panama Papers?
Twelve current and former world leaders were among 143 politicians, their families and close associates are shown to have been using offshore tax havens.
Leaders include Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, Pakistan’s prime minister, Ukraine’s president, Argentina’s president and the king of Saudi Arabia.
The papers also refer to associates of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, six members of the House of Lords, three former Tory MPs and dozens of UK political donors.
How can you search the Panama Papers?
Not all of the documents have been released yet and there is no centralised place to find them.
But the ICIJ has provided a list of ‘power players’ with links to related documents that have been made public.
News organistations around the world have reported on the scandal and there is in-depth coverage by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.