The Panama Papers Center around the Panamanian law firm and corporate service provider, Mossack Foncesca & Co. The Panama Papers present over 11.5 million classified documents that show how the company has been able to launder money, dodge actions against the company, and avoid paying taxes.
“The leak of the papers shows how world elites take part in shady financial mechanisms to further benefit themselves rather than taking action against events like this,” freshman Emily Simon said.
The papers reveal that over 12 national leaders, among 143 of the politicians found that the politicians, their families, and close friends have been using an offshore tax haven. Meaning that they have either been paying a low price for taxes or they haven’t been paying taxes at all. Among the 12 national leaders is Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.
The papers were leaked by an anonymous source that had given the documents to a German newspaper who then shared the documents with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The anonymous source had claimed to be concerned with what they saw in the documents and later asked that it was vital that they stay anonymous because his life could be at stake do to all the powerful people mentioned in the papers.
“The Panama Papers just shows how some governments can’t really be trusted, with so many leaders being influenced by money. Corruption seems to be very common and the Russian people have to wonder if they should cause a reform,” junior Gabriel Gonzalez said.
Those mentioned in the papers claim that the information stated are “a series of fibs,” some claiming that the offshore accounts were simply made to avoid conflict in there homelands while others deny even having any connection to the accounts. Even the firm itself claims that they are the victims in this scandal. Co-founder, Ramon Fonseca further goes on in a statement to ICIJ that the information in the documents is all false, full of inaccuracies, and that many of the people mentioned have never even been their clients.
Many are responding to the papers with fury, seeing that these national leaders have behind the scenes deals that are only benefiting them. Currently, countries such as Britain, France, Australia, and Mexico have vowed to start an investigation to look for any possible tax evasion. Although no action is currently being taken upon those mentioned, as the investigation continues, countries will then decide what actions should be made.