The Panama Papers is the biggest secret data leak in history
Published 04/04/2016 | 07:20
Some of the richest people in the world have had their financial records leaked, and the we're finding out how they manage to stay so wealthy
The Panama Papers are out, with 2.6 terabytes of data leaked from a Panama based law firm.
It's the biggest secret data leak in history, and comes from Mossack Fonseca, a law firm that does most of its work by creating and maintaining off shore bank accounts designed to ensure their clients pay little to no tax. It's the plot of a hundred movies but this is really happening right now, with information about Vladimir Putin, other heads of state and even board members at FIFA implicated.
The information is still very new, and there's a Reddit thread which is starting to bring together some of the pieces. Right now, teams of journalists around the world are working to make connections to some of the most powerful and infliential people in the world, and the methods they used to ensure they remained wealthy through the use of offshore accounts.
Using offshore accounts isn't illegal in and of itself, so it will take time to investigate just how this process has been used in each individual case. And that could take awhile, with 11.5 million documents to pore through. A full list of companies which are involved is set to be released in May 2016.