ICIJ · The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

The Panama Papers Reading List

Introduction People Data Game
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Pakistan PM Disqualified Over Panama Papers Links

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has voted unanimously to disqualify Nawaz Sharif from the prime ministership and has referred his case to the country's top anti-corruption authority for an investigation.

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Panama Papers Wins Pulitzer Prize

The honor is a testament to the enterprise and teamwork of our staff and our partners here in the U.S. and around the world, ICIJ's director says.

Awards and recognition

The Panama Papers project, led by ICIJ and German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung working in collaboration with more than 100 media outlets, has been honored with awards and finalist mentions by more than a dozen major international prizes, including:

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Where Are They Now? A Year Later, Mixed Fortunes For Panama Papers Line-Up

One year after the Panama Papers first became an international catchphrase, here’s a globe-hopping update on the people and institutions caught up in the scandal.

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VIDEO: Twelve Months of Investigations, Impact and Outrage

A year ago the Panama Papers dominated newspaper headlines and brought now-iconic images to TV screens around the world. Since then, investigations have continued and outrage has grown.

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Panama Prosecutor Claims 'Solid Case' Against Mossack Fonseca

The law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers affair, sold shell companies and held bank accounts that were used to help conceal bribes paid across South America, a Panamanian prosecutor alleged at a press conference.

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Founders of Panama Papers Law Firm Arrested on Money Laundering Charges

Police in Panama arrested the founders of Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the center of the Panama Papers scandal, on money laundering charges Thursday after authorities raided the firm’s headquarters as part of investigations into Brazil’s largest-ever bribery scandal.

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Tax Agencies Draw Up ‘Target List’ of Offshore Enablers

Tax agencies from 30 countries convened in Paris this week to take part in the largest ever simultaneous exchange of tax information and to share results and details on thousands of investigations sparked by the Panama Papers.

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Panama’s Revolving Door Shows Global Challenge of Offshore Reform

In a country where top-drawer lawyers move freely between high government posts and law firms selling secrecy-cloaked shell companies, bringing lasting change to the offshore industry is a challenge.

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Journalists Hang Tough in Face of Backlash Against Panama Papers Reporting

Reporters have faced consequences both in nations where media crackdowns are common and also in nations with reputations for high levels of press freedom.

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Panama Papers Have Had Historic Global Effects — and the Impacts Keep Coming

The investigation has produced an almost daily drumbeat of regulatory moves, follow-up stories and calls by politicians and activists for more action to combat offshore financial secrecy.

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BVI Hits Mossack Fonseca With Largest Fine Ever After Panama Papers Investigation

The $440,000 penalty followed a six-month investigation which included on-site compliance inspections and the appointment of an officer to monitor Mossack Fonseca's operations.

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Experts Who Quit Panama's Transparency Commission Produce Their Own Report

Report's authors say that the U.S. and EU have the power to force other nations to embrace transparency reforms by threatening to cut off access to their financial systems.

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Pakistan's PM Responds to Supreme Court Hearing on Panama Papers

Nawaz Sharif defended himself before the nation’s highest court, as opposition supporters celebrated in Islamabad.

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Panama Hires PR Firm Amid Ongoing Panama Papers Fallout

A PR firm is being paid $50,000 a month to help the Panama government, while arrests, protests and more continue around the world.

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Hedge Fund Sues Mossack Fonseca For Alleged Obstruction of Justice in Nevada

Confidential emails revealed in the Panama Papers have opened a new front in a bitter court battle in Nevada involving a hedge fund led by an American billionaire, new court filings show.

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Experts Quit Panama's Transparency Committee Over Lack of Transparency

The committee was established in the wake of the Panama Papers to probe Panama's financial services industry, but now two out of three international members have resigned.

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Continent of Secrets: Uncovering Africa's Offshore Empires

Africa receives $50 billion of foreign aid money annually, but then loses roughly the same amount through illicit outflows. Can you uncover Africa's offshore empires? Play now!

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Secret Offshore Deals Deprive Africa of Billions in Natural Resource Dollars

The Panama Papers show how politicians and mining, oil and gas interests benefit from secrecy and dubious multimillion dollar transfers.

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Secret Documents Expose Nigerian Oil Mogul’s Offshore Hideaways

A dealmaker’s backstage maneuverings are revealed in the Panama Papers as he hung with celebrities while criminal investigators closed in.

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Diamond Mine with Offshore Ties Leaves Trail of Complaints

The Panama Papers reveal a network of shell companies linked to a mining operation that has been accused of environmental harms and unpaid taxes.

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Out of Africa, Into Tax Havens

As visitors come to see what’s in Africa, some safari operators’ profits head offshore.

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Reporters Warned, Inquiries Opened as African Nations Respond to Panama Papers

Mossack Fonseca targeted clients in Africa for business, but now some of those clients have become targets themselves as authorities launch investigations into the Panama Papers revelations.

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Panama Papers Credited As New EU Anti Money-Laundering And Tax Abuse Rules Proposed

The European Commission has announced it will tighten the European Union’s anti-money laundering rules and increase transparency requirements for companies and trusts.

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Venezuela and Panama To Launch Joint Panama Papers Investigation

The joint investigation will be the "first of its kind," and Venezuela's attorney general has hinted at a long list of suspects.

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European Inquiry to Call UK Chancellor, Mossack Fonseca to Testify

A special 65-member Panama Papers committee of inquiry has been created by the European parliament to investigate potential wrongdoing exposed by ICIJ's investigation.

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Mossack Fonseca's US Operations Under Pressure, Island Offices Closed

Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca’s local affiliate in Nevada has resigned from more than 1,000 companies and paid a penalty to the state amid investigations on multiple fronts.

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US States Under Pressure As World Pushes For Financial Transparency

Nevada, Wyoming and Delaware are facing growing pressure over their lack of corporate transparency, as the United States and the international community continue to respond to fallout from the Panama Papers.

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The Malefactors of Mossack Fonseca

Meet The Dutchman, the Queen of the South, the Boss of Bosses and other convicted felons and alleged wrongdoers who have benefited from services provided by the law firm.

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Panama Papers Include Dozens of Americans Tied to Fraud and Financial Misconduct

Mossack Fonseca's files include offshore companies linked to at least 36 Americans accused of serious financial wrongdoing, including fraud and racketeering.

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Beyond Panama: Unlocking the world’s secrecy jurisdictions

The 21 jurisdictions covered by the Panama Papers data vary from the rolling hills of Wyoming to tropical getaways like the British Virgin Islands. But all have at least one thing in common - secrecy is the rule.

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Panama Papers Source Offers Documents To Governments, Hints At More To Come

The anonymous whistleblower behind the Panama Papers has conditionally offered to make the documents available to government authorities.

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US Officials React to Panama Papers Disclosures With Get-Tough Proposals

The Obama administration has proposed a national registry documenting the real owners of shell companies and other measures aimed at fighting offshore chicanery.

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Iceland’s First Lady Linked to Offshore Investments

Records in the Panama Papers and the Swiss Leaks leaked files tie the wife of Iceland President Ólafur Grímsson to offshore companies and accounts.

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Coming Soon: ICIJ to Release Panama Papers Offshore Companies Data

The database, to be released on May 9, will likely be the largest ever release of secret offshore companies and the people behind them.

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Cartel-Linked Suspects Arrested After Panama Papers Revelations

Uruguayan prosecutors are seeking to bring to trial at least five individuals detained on suspicion of laundering money for a powerful Mexican drug cartel.

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US Prosecutor Opens Investigation Into "Panama Papers Matters"

ICIJ welcomes the interest from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office, but has made it clear it won't be turning over its data or taking part in any investigation.

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Banks Ordered to Provide Info on Panama Dealings to NY Regulator

More than a dozen banks identified in the Panama Papers investigation have been asked to hand over details of their communications with Mossack Fonseca.

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Art held offshore

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Pakistan's PM Leaves Country, Spanish Minister Resigns

Nawaz Sharif faces growing pressure and calls for his resignation, a Spanish minister has stepped aside, and more governments are pledging reform as fallout from the Panama Papers revelations continues.

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Panama Police Raid Mossack Fonseca As Global Fallout Continues

The search of Mossack Fonseca's Panama headquarters comes after a number of raids and official action taken in response to the Panama Papers revelations.

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Global joint investigation to be proposed at special tax meeting

Tax officials from 28 nations met in Paris to develop a strategy for collaborative action based on Panama Papers revelations.

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British PM Announces New Transparency Measures Following Panama Papers Revelations

David Cameron appeared before parliament on Monday to address concerns about his own links to offshore holdings revealed in the Panama Papers, as well as announce reform aimed at boosting transparency.

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The Art of Secrecy

Locked in the files of a Panama law firm are the answers to mysteries involving Van Goghs, Picassos, Rembrandts and other masterworks.

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Panama Papers Spark High-Level FIFA Resignation and Swiss Police Raid

Swiss police searched the office of Europe's top soccer association and a member of FIFA's ethics panel resigned following Panama Papers revelations.

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Leaked Files Offer Many Clues To Offshore Dealings by Top Chinese

Eight current and former members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the country's top decision makers, have relatives with secret offshore companies.

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Spies and Shadowy Allies Lurk in Secret With Help From Offshore Firm

Firm helps CIA operatives and other characters — real or fanciful — from the world of espionage set up offshore companies to obscure their dealings.

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Iceland Prime Minister Tenders Resignation Following Panama Papers Revelations

The prime minister of Iceland said he would resign following mass protests triggered by reports from ICIJ and partners that he had owned an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands with his wife.

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Law Firm’s Files Include Dozens of Companies and People Blacklisted by U.S. Authorities

Global law firm’s customers include suspected financiers of terrorism, nuclear weapons proliferators and gunrunners.

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How Family that Runs Azerbaijan Built an Empire of Hidden Wealth

Documents peel away three layers of secret ownership in a conglomerate and lead to gold mines and overseas real estate.

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Global Banks Team with Law Firms To Help the Wealthy Hide Assets

Leaked records show that hundreds of banks and their subsidiaries and branches registered nearly 15,600 shell companies.

About this project

The Panama Papers is an unprecedented investigation that reveals the offshore links of some of the globe’s most prominent figures.

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All Putin’s Men: Secret Records Reveal Money Network Tied to Russian Leader

Complex offshore financial deals channel money and power towards a network of people and companies linked to President Vladimir Putin.

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Giant Leak of Offshore Financial Records Exposes Global Array of Crime and Corruption

Millions of documents show heads of state, criminals and celebrities using secret hideaways in tax havens.

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Panamanian Law Firm Is Gatekeeper To Vast Flow of Murky Offshore Secrets

Files show client roster that includes drug dealers, Mafia members, corrupt politicians and tax evaders — and wrongdoing galore.

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Leak Ties Ethics Guru to Three Men Charged in FIFA Scandal

Secret documents show how deeply the world of soccer has become enmeshed in the world of offshore havens.

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Iceland’s Prime Minister Ducks Question But the Answer Catches Up with Him

He came to power after the country’s financial collapse while hiding his offshore holdings of millions in bonds from Icelandic banks.

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How the One Percenters Divorce: Offshore Intrigue Plays Hide and Seek with Millions

Firm that practices no matrimonial law nonetheless plays big role when the superrich around the globe decide to split.

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Founders of Panama Papers Law Firm Arrested on Money Laundering Charges

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Police in Panama arrested the founders of Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the center of the Panama Papers scandal, on money laundering charges after authorities raided the firm’s headquarters as part of investigations into Brazil’s largest-ever bribery scandal.

The firm’s founding partners, Ramón Fonseca and Jürgen Mossack, were taken into police custody on Thursday, according to the men’s lawyer. Kenia Porcell, Panama’s attorney general, released a statement that said evidence gathered by her office indicated that the law firm was a potential “criminal organization” that concealed and removed evidence related to “illegal activity.”

Both Fonseca and Mossack are well-known in business and political circles in Panama. Fonseca is a former adviser to Panama’s president, Juan Varela, and Mossack served on Panama’s council on foreign relations from 2009 to 2014.

They have consistently denied any wrongdoing. Their law firm says that it is not at fault in cases in which offshore companies it set up for clients were later used for illegitimate purposes. The firm told ICIJ last year that it follows “both the letter and spirit of the law.”

Mossack Fonseca issued a statement Thursday that accused Panamanian officials of “an attempt to divert the attention from those who really merit a deep and proactive investigation.” It said authorities “have not presented a single piece of evidence that shows us guilty.”

The arrests come 10 months after the Panama Papers investigation by ICIJ and other media partners revealed that Mossack Fonseca had set up or managed offshore companies and other hard-to-trace corporate structures for world leaders, drug kingpins, American fraudsters and other clients. ICIJ, German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung and more than 100 other media partners worked together to investigate a trove of 11.5 million leaked documents detailing the law firm’s day-to-day operations over nearly 40 years.

Shortly before the media partnership began releasing its findings, Brazilian and Panamanian authorities began targeting Mossack Fonseca as part of a wide-ranging bribery investigation in Brazil – dubbed Lava Jato (“Operation Car Wash”) – that has led to criminal charges against leading Brazilian politicians. Brazilian prosecutors said in January 2016 that they were investigating the law firm’s alleged role in helping individuals involved in the multi-million-dollar bribery case use offshore companies to launder money.

Porcell, Panama’s attorney general, said in her statement that bribe money circulated through various companies and was then “laundered or washed through Panama.”

The business dealings of Odebrecht, a Brazil-based construction conglomerate, has been a focus of the Lava Jato investigation. In December, Odebrecht pleaded guilty in the United States and reached settlements with authorities in Switzerland and Brazil over allegations that it paid millions of dollars in bribes to government officials on three continents.

After Thursday’s surprise raid, Ramón Fonseca lashed out at President Varela, telling reporters that Varela had told him the president had accepted money from Odebrecht, the Brazilian construction company, “because he couldn’t fight everyone.” Varela said the contributions were donations, not bribes.

Despite official statements that Thursday’s raid and detentions were related to Brazil’s Lava Jato case, Mossack Fonseca’s Twitter account posted an image of a search warrant from the attorney general’s office that referred to “a criminal investigation into alleged economic crimes, in particular money laundering, that has its origins in the journalistic investigation ‘Panama Papers.’”

“The documents obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) are related to the creation and sale of offshore companies by the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca,” the document from the attorney general’s office said. The companies were “allegedly used for laundering millions of dollars from multiple illicit activities around the world.”

“Lava Jato case?” Mossack Fonseca tweeted. “Here is a search warrant indicating that it is #PanamaPapers.”

“It’s really confusing,” Guillermina MacDonald, Mossack Fonseca’s lawyer, told ICIJ in a telephone interview Friday afternoon.

MacDonald confirmed that Mossack Fonseca had received the official document that referred to the Panama Papers but said that when she visited the attorney general’s office, she was provided information related to Lava Jato.

MacDonald said she waited for four hours at the attorney general’s office and was then denied access to complete documentation relating to charges relating to the firm.

“The attorney general’s office doesn’t show its face,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Panama’s attorney general told ICIJ the arrests related to Lava Jato only.

The raid comes during a busy month for Mossack Fonseca and related corruption and bribery scandals.

This week, Ojo Publico, a Peruvian news outlet that collaborated with ICIJ on the Panama Papers investigation, reported that Mossack Fonseca had created offshore companies for middlemen recently accused by Peruvian authorities of helping to channel bribes to Peru’s former president, Alejandro Toledo.

Toledo is currently under investigation in Peru as part of a probe into $800 million in bribes paid across Latin America by the Odebrecht conglomerate. A judge in Peru issued an arrest warrant Thursday for Toledo, citing a “high degree of probability” that the former president took up to $20 million in bribes in exchange for awarding Odebrecht public contracts during his time in office.

Separately, Mossack Fonseca is in court fighting Panama’s anti-corruption prosecutor, who was recently granted the power to indefinitely extend his investigation of the firm in relation to the Panama Papers.

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