The Panama Papers investigation that reveals the offshore links of some of the globe’s most prominent figures.

Key findings: The Panama Papers by the numbers

By The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
Apr 3, 2016

The largest cross-border journalism collaboration ever has uncovered a giant leak of documents from Mossack Fonseca, a global law firm based in Panama.

The secret files:

Include 11.5 million records, dating back nearly 40 years – making it the largest leak in offshore history. Contains details on more than 214,000 offshore entities connected to people in more than 200 countries and territories. Company owners in billionaires, sports stars, drug smugglers and fraudsters.

Reveal the offshore holdings 140 politicians and public officials around the world – including 12 current and former world leaders. Among them: the prime ministers of Iceland and Pakistan, the president of Ukraine, and the king of Saudi Arabia.

Document some $2 billion in transactions secretly shuffled through banks and shadow companies by associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Include the names of at least 33 people and companies blacklisted by the U.S. government because of evidence that they’d been involved in wrongdoing, such as doing business with Mexican drug lords, terrorist organizations like Hezbollah or rogue nations like North Korea and Iran.

Show how major banks have driven the creation of hard-to-trace companies in offshore havens. More than 500 banks their subsidiaries and their branches – including HSBC, UBS and Société Générale – created more than 15,000 offshore companies for their customers through Mossack Fonseca.

About this project
By ICIJ Staff Apr 3, 2016

The Panama Papers is an unprecedented investigation that reveals the offshore links of some of the globe’s most prominent figures.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, together with the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and more than 100 other media partners, spent a year sifting through 11.5 million leaked files to expose the offshore holdings of world political leaders, links to global scandals, and details of the hidden financial dealings of fraudsters, drug traffickers, billionaires, celebrities, sports stars and more.

The trove of documents is likely the biggest leak of inside information in history. It includes nearly 40 years of data from a little-known but powerful law firm based in Panama. That firm, Mossack Fonseca, has offices in more than 35 locations around the globe, and is one of the world’s top creators of shell companies, corporate structures that can be used to hide ownership of assets.

ICIJ’s analysis of the leaked records revealed information on more than 214,000 offshore companies connected to people in more than 200 countries and territories.

The data includes emails, financial spreadsheets, passports and corporate records revealing the secret owners of bank accounts and companies in 21 offshore jurisdictions, including Nevada, Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands.

ICIJ’s data and research unit indexed, organized and analyzed the 2.6 terabytes of data that make up the leak, using collaborative platforms to communicate and share documents with journalists working in 25 languages in nearly 80 countries.

The Team:

Project Managers: Marina Walker Guevara and Gerard Ryle

Data Editor: Mar Cabra

Research Editor: Emilia Diaz-Struck

Editors: Michael Hudson, Martha M. Hamilton, Gerard Ryle, Marina Walker Guevara and Tom Stites

Online Editor: Hamish Boland-Rudder

Data and Research Unit: Rigoberto Carvajal, Matthew Caruana Galizia, Cécile Schilis-Gallego and Miguel Fiandor Gutiérrez

ICIJ reporters: Will Fitzgibbon, Jake Bernstein, Ryan Chittum, Martha M. Hamilton, Michael Hudson, Marcos Garcia Rey, Alexa Olesen and Delphine Reuter

Süddeutsche Zeitung reporters: Bastian Obermayer and Frederik Obermaier

Researcher: Mago Torres

Fact checkers: Richard H.P. Sia and Peter Smith

Web design and development: Álvaro Ortiz, Fernando Blat and Jorge Sancha from Populate

The Power Players interactive: Kiln


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