ICIJ · The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

The Panama Papers Reading List

Introduction People Data Game

Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, Family Members Indicted

The corruption charges were triggered by a National Accountability Bureau report on Panama Papers-related cases involving Sharif and his family members.


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.


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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


Out of Africa, Into Tax Havens

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Art held offshore


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Three tips for searching the Offshore Leaks database

There are a number of ways to explore the 320,000 offshore entities in ICIJ's Offshore Leaks database and unlock the secrets of this secretive world


The ICIJ Offshore Leaks database allows you to search through almost 320,000 offshore companies and trusts - more than 200,000 were registered by the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, whose inner workings were exposed in the Panama Papers, and 100,000 entities incorporated through Portcullis Trustnet and Commonwealth Trust Limited, two offshore service providers exposed as part of the 2013 ICIJ Offshore Leaks investigation.

The Offshore Leaks database offers users multiple ways to explore the data, including searching by names or keywords, looking for country-specific connections, or browsing offshore entities by jurisdiction.

Find a specific person or company

Let’s say you researching property ownership in a city like London, and come across an offshore company listed as an owner of a £750,000 commercial building in the British Land Registry. The registry does not tell you who is actually behind “Moonlight Estates Limited.”

But the Offshore Leaks database might be able to help. Start by typing the “Moonlight Estates” into the search box and hit “Search.” Typing only the first part of the company name will show partial matches, so it won’t matter if “Limited” is spelled “Ltd” or “Ltd.” in the data. As a general rule, we encourage you to try different spellings when looking for a person of a company.


The results page returns one company named “Moonlight Estates Limited,” connected to Ecuador and registered in the British Virgin Islands. Had the results page returned several companies with the name “Moonlight Estates Limited,” you could have filtered by jurisdiction, for example by clicking on “British Virgin Islands” in the right menu.


Clicking on the company’s name will lead you to a page with more information about that company and who’s behind it. In addition to basic information about the company, you’ll also see an interactive visualization that allows you to explore the connections between this company and related addresses, shareholders, beneficiaries, and more. There’s also a text list of ;these connections, and links out to OpenCorporates (for additional corporate data).

Take a look at the visualization and you’ll see that the shareholder and beneficiary of “Moonlight Estates Limited” is actually Ayad H. Allawi, the former prime minister of Iraq.


Clicking on the beneficiary node shows the address connected to Allawi, which enables you to check if it is indeed the former prime minister. Clicking on the shareholder node shows you another company for which Allawi is a listed shareholder, “Foxwood Estates Limited.”

If you check the British Land Registry, you can see that Foxwood Estates Limited owns a townhouse worth £2.75m in Kensington. Clicking on Foxwood Estates Limited in the visualization will reveal that another director for this company is “Ayad Allawi” (without an H), also connected to another company.


Of course if you already knew that Allawi was in the Panama Papers data, you could also have found his name by typing it into the search box. On the database’s landing page select the “Search by country” tab (the “Search by jurisdiction” tab is for company searches only, not for individuals), type in “Ayad Allawi” and click “Search.”


The results page lists all the officers with that name. From the results page you can already see which countries those officers are connected to.

When you click on the name, you get information and a visualization showing the connections between Ayad Allawi and different addresses and offshore entities. Clicking on the different nodes will enable you to find all the information you previously found by starting by the company search.


One final tip when searching for a specific name: ICIJ is publishing the names as they were typed in the leaked records. This means that there could be multiple spellings or even misspellings in how names are listed. We encourage you to try different spellings.

Find all the names connected to a country

ICIJ connected the names of people and offshore entities in the database to more than 200 countries and territories through their listed addresses. This way, if a person is the beneficial owner of a company and is connected to an address in France, the person will appear if you search for all the names associated with France.

To do that, make sure you are in the tab entitled “Search by country.” Open the drop down menu by clicking on “All countries” and select the country you are looking for, in this case France. Leave the search box blank and hit “Search.”


The search results are displayed in sections: you can see the offshore entities (these are the companies, trusts, foundations and more), the officers (which includes directors, shareholders and/or beneficiaries), intermediaries (the lawyers and service providers who help set up or act as the registered agents for the offshore companies), and the addresses connected to that country.


In the case of offshore entities, you can also add a second filter to just see companies from a specific jurisdiction. Select the jurisdiction from the list in the right menu. For example, if you search for “France” and then filter by the jurisdiction “Bahamas,” you will see all the companies connected to France that are registered in the Bahamas.

If you select the filter “Officers,” you’ll be able to see all the persons connected to France. For example former minister Jérôme Cahuzac.


Clicking on his name will reveal that he is connected to the company “Cerman Group Limited” in the Panama Papers data.


Browse by jurisdiction

Is there a particular tax haven or secrecy jurisdiction you’re curious about? You can browse all the companies registered in one of 38 jurisdictions included in our data using the “Search by jurisdictions” tab on the homepage of the database. Click on the tab, then select the jurisdiction you are looking for from the dropdown menu. Leave the search box blank and hit “Search.”

You can browse the list of offshore entities, and can click through to find out more information about their offshore connections.

You can also switch between the jurisdictions using the “Filter by jurisdiction” menu on the right menu. Visit our special Panama Papers blog post for more information about how secretive some of these jurisdictions.

We encourage you to be careful when describing the information contained in this database. There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts and we do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly. In addition, many people and entities have the same or similar names. We suggest you confirm the identities of any individuals or entities located in the database based on addresses or other identifiable information.

In addition to using the online Offshore Leaks database, you can also download the full dataset and explore all the data on your computer. We are making the raw data available for download here.

ICIJ has been investigating the offshore economy for more than four years and we’re going to keep digging into these leaked files. We welcome any tips you may find searching this database, please send them to us here. If you wish to use a more secure method to contact us or want to share sensitive information, please consider using an alternative method, such as encrypted email or Secure Drop. More details are available here.

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