The Panama Papers Leak – An Expose of Tax Avoiders?

The Panama Papers Leak was in news for quite a long time. But most of us are unaware of the exact details about the leak. You’ll get to know all about it in this post.

The Panama Papers are about 11.5 million leaked documents that detail financial and client information for more than 214,488 offshore entities. The documents, some of which dated back to the 1970s, belonged to Mossack Fonesca, a law firm headquartered in the tax haven Panama. These were leaked in 2015 by an anonymous source.

The documents contain personal financial information about wealthy individuals and public officials that had previously been kept private. While offshore business entities are legal, reporters found that most of these entities were used for illegal purposes like tax evasion.

John Doe, the whistleblower who leaked the documents to a German journalist Bastian Obermayer remains anonymous, even to the journalists on the investigation. He told them that his life is in danger. In a May 6 statement, John Doe cited income inequality as the reason for his action, and said he leaked the documents “simply because I understood enough about their contents to realise the scale of the injustices they described”. After verifying that the statement did come from the Panama Papers source, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) posted the full document on its website.

The journalist Bastian and his news agency had asked the ICIJ for help because the data was in a huge amount. Journalists from 107 media organisations in 80 countries analysed the documents giving details of the operations of the Panamanian law firm. After more than a year of analysis, the first news stories were published on April 3, 2016, along with 150 of the documents.

The documents were called the Panama Papers because they originated from Panama; however, the Panamanian government strongly objected to the name, as did other firms of Panama.

Indians in Panama Papers :-

There are more 500 Indians whose name appears in the leaked documents. Some of the most significant names revealed in the documents includes film star Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan; corporate giants like K.P. Singh (DLF Owner), Indiabulls promoter Sameer Gahlaut and Apollo Tyres promoters as well; politicians Shishir Bajoria of West Bengal and Anurag Kejriwal.

Udit Goswami

A finance enthusiast, Udit Goswami is a Chartered Accountant and an undergraduate from University of Delhi having worked in the field of Mergers & Acquisitions (Tax) for over 3 years.

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