At least six countries have already opened investigations with many more likely to follow.
The list of world leaders reads like the guest list at a United Nations cocktail party.
Wikileaks has spilled the beans on a law firm that set up almost a quarter of a million off shore accounts for the powerful and well-connected to hide the proceeds from their corruption, drug selling and other activities to avoid taxes and the scrutiny of their own tax collectors and police!
Reuters has the story…
Governments across the world began investigating possible financial wrongdoing by the rich and powerful on Monday after a leak of four decades of documents from a Panamanian law firm that specialized in setting up offshore companies.
The “Panama Papers” revealed financial arrangements of global politicians and public figures including friends of Russian President Vladimir Putin, relatives of the prime ministers of Britain, Iceland and Pakistan, and the president of Ukraine.
While holding money in offshore companies is not illegal, journalists who received the leaked documents said they could provide evidence of wealth hidden for tax evasion, money laundering, sanctions busting, drug deals or other crimes.
The documents are just now being investigated and many more politicians and other public figures are likely to be involved. For now Russian strongman Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister David Cameron seem to be the biggest losers
Britain’s Guardian newspaper said the documents showed a network of secret offshore deals and loans worth $2 billion led to associates of Putin, including concert cellist Sergei Roldugin, a childhood friend of the president. Reuters could not confirm those details.
The British government asked for a copy of the leaked data, which could be embarrassing for Prime Minister Cameron, who has spoken out against tax evasion and tax avoidance.
His late father, Ian Cameron, a wealthy stockbroker, is mentioned in the files, alongside some members of his Conservative Party, former Conservative lawmakers and party donors, British media said.