- 11million financial documents have been leaked from Panamanian law firm
- Show how world’s rich and powerful use offshore tax havens to hide wealth
- Twelve current or former world leaders implicated along with UK politicians
- Russian president Vladimir Putin’s friends appear to have earned millions
- Leak is bigger than the amount of data stolen by Edward Snowden in 2013
- German newspaper obtained documents but identity of source is unknown
The biggest financial data leak in history has revealed how Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and a ‘dirty dozen’ list of world leaders are using offshore tax havens to hide their wealth.
A host of celebrities, sports stars, British politicians and the global rich are all implicated in the so-called Panama Papers – a leak of 11million files which contain more data than the amount stolen by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden in 2013.
Documents were leaked from one of the world’s most secretive companies, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, and show how the company has allegedly helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and evade tax.
Megastars Jackie Chan and Lionel Messi are among the big names accused of using Mossack Fonseca to invest their millions offshore. And the Panama Papers also reveal that the £26million stolen during the Brink’s Mat robbery in 1983 may have been channelled into an offshore company set up by the controversial law firm.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak, Libya’s former leader Colonel Gaddafi, Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad and Chinese president Xi Jinping are among those alleged to have links to tax havens through families and associates.
Lord Ashcroft, Baroness Pamela Sharples and former Tory MP Michael Mates are the only British politicians who have been named in the data release so far, while several dictators make up the 12 world leaders listed.
Scroll down for video
Under pressure: Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting today hours after it emerged his inner circle and a ‘dirty dozen’ list of world leaders are using offshore tax havens to hide their wealth
Revelation: The so-called Panama Papers, part of a leak of 11million files, implicate those in Russian president Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, along with families and associates of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad (above)
King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud (pictured left) was also named
Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri (left) and Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko (right) were listed
German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung obtained the files and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists but the identity of the source who leaked them and how it was done is unknown.
The unprecedented leak of confidential documents reveal:
- A network of secret offshore deals and loans worth £1.4 billion that leads to Russian President Vladimir Putin;
- Twelve national leaders, including the King of Saudi Arabia, president of Ukraine and the prime minister of Iceland, are among 143 politicians revealed to have offshore accounts, including several dictators;
- Six members of the House of Lords, three former Conservative MPs and dozens of donors to British political parties are among those said to have benefited from tax havens;
- A member of Fifa’s ethics committee, which is supposed to be reforming the organisation, worked as a lawyer for people charged with bribery and corruption.