The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) today releases a searchable database that strips away the secrecy of almost 214,000 offshore entities made in 21 jurisdictions, from the area of Nevada to the Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands.
The data which is the part of the Panama Papers investigation is the greatest ever release of data about offshore companies and the persons behind them. This involves, when present, the names of the actual owners of those opaque complexes.
The database also reflects data about more than 100,000 extra offshore entities ICIJ had already revealed in its 2013 Offshore Leaks investigation.
ICIJ is releasing the data in the public interest.
The latest data that ICIJ is now making public depicts a fraction of the Panama Papers, a trove of more than 11.5 million leaked information from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca which is considered to be one of the world’s top creators of hard-to-trace industries, trusts and foundations.
ICIJ is not releasing the totality of the leak, and it isn’t revealing raw documents or personal data en masse. The database consists of a great deal of data about company owners, proxies and intermediaries in secrecy jurisdictions, but it doesn’t unveil the email exchanges, bank accounts, and economical transactions contained in the documents.
ICIJ’s Offshore Leaks database.
The interactive application discloses more than 360,000 names of persons and companies behind secret offshore infrastructures. As the information is from the leaked sources and not standardized registry, there might be few duplication or copy of names.
The information was originally gained from an anonymous or unknown source by reporters at the proposed German newspaper Süeddeustche Zeitung, who inquired ICIJ to manage an international reporting collaboration to observe the files.
More than 370 reporters in almost eighty countries investigated the files for a year. Their investigations disclosed the secret offshore holdings of twelve world leaders, more than 128 other politicians and scores of drug traffickers, fraudsters, and other proposed criminals whose industries had been blacklisted in the America and elsewhere.
Their post or status as outlaws or public officers did not stop them from gaining shell industries in locales where secrecy laws mostly make it impossible for prosecutors and other investigators to detect their elements or assets.
The files disclosed, for instance, that associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin secretly shuffled as much as $2 billion via banks and shadow industries.