The Revelations of the Panama Papers
The Panama Papers comprise a set of documents leaked from the Mossack Fonseca law firm and corporate services provider, which is located in Panama. These extensive files are full of incriminating evidence that is going to be used against the wealthy individuals who have managed to hide billions and billions of dollars from governments all around the world. The offshore financial leak demonstrates that the corruption of the offshore financial industry runs much deeper than even the most cynical people could possibly have imagined.
The People Named in the Panama Papers
The list of names for the people involved in the scandal is still in the process of being completed. There is a lot of data to analyze. It is also true that some of the people involved were the family members of wealthy and prominent individuals, and it remains to be seen whether they were acting alone or whether their powerful and wealthy family members were involved.
Some people have asked why so few of the names have been American, and it is possible that this is simply because the investigation has yet to uncover absolutely everyone who is involved with a scandal that is this large.
As yet, the leaders of the Ukraine, Argentina, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Iceland, and the United Kingdom have all been implicated. The family of the president of Azerbaijan has been implicated as well. However, celebrities, professional athletes, drug traffickers, and billionaires in various disciplines have all been implicated, and journalists are still reviewing the data in order to uncover more people. There are hundreds of individuals who have not been identified yet, if not more.
Jacki Chan and Lionel Messi have joined the ranks of entertainers who are potentially among the guilty parties. It remains to be seen how many more famous people will turn out to have been involved in this enormous corruption scandal.
Mossack Fonseca and the Corruption Scandal
Using the services of the law firm Mossack Fonseca, the various wealthy clients all around the world established offshore shell companies for the sake of tax evasion. They were able to avoid getting their enormous fortunes taxed to the degree that they should have been, and all of the wealthy people who were implicated by the Panama Papers are all going to have to be both individually and collectively investigated.
This law firm has done everything from changing the dates on documents to covering up the incriminating documents that have been attributed to their clients. They have tried to keep their clients safe in every way. It turns out that they have ultimately failed to do so in the most dramatic way imaginable.
The International Response to the Panama Papers
It is important to note that as of April 2016, people have still not entirely completed the enormous investigation into a scandal that is this large and that has managed to involve so many powerful individuals. In all likelihood, it is going to take months just to nail down all of the facts. Teams of journalists all over the world are working together in order to make sure that they are able to name all of the people who have been involved in the Panama Papers scandal.
Not all of the clients of the Mossack Fonseca law firm were implicated in the crimes, since this is a law firm that has probably done some legitimate work. However, almost all of their clients are automatically going to be under suspicion at the moment as a result of what this law firm and financial services provider has been willing to do for forces that are so powerful and so corrupt.
There have already been arrests made in Brazil, including to some very powerful political figures. Germany and other countries are launching their own investigations. Journalists are still trying to get down all of the facts, which is going to help law enforcement officials when it comes to determining who is guilty and how much money they are going to have to return to their respective governments. Many of these people are going to do jail time since tax evasion is a tremendously serious offense. Some of the guilty parties are guilty of crimes that extend beyond tax evasion, so it remains to be seen exactly how these people are going to be punished by their own countries and by the international community at large.
The Panama Papers scandal has set an important precedent for the twenty-first century and the fact that it is going to be harder and harder to succeed at pulling off conspiracies like this in the Information Age.