A mass of nearly 12 million documents analyzed, 600 journalists at work in 117 countries, at least 300 politicians involved along with managers, bankers, industrialists and stars. These are the numbers of the Pandora Papers, the maxi-journalistic investigation built with the data in the possession of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (Icij) and published on 3 October on a network of 140 international newspapers. For Italy the weekly dealt with it Espresso.
The investigation uncovers a web of hidden wealth, tax evasion and money laundering mechanisms that revolved around 14 companies capable of making their customers’ money disappear in offshore accounts.
The 14 companies that “built” offshore accounts
International companies have offices ranging from Dubai to Singapore, from the Virgin Islands to Panama City itself, which was overwhelmed by the investigation of the same name in 2016. The documents in the hands of the Icij consortium, according to L’Espresso, cover a period of 25 years of offshore operations (1996-2020, although the first documents date back to the 1970s). The various companies were based on a circuit of offices and branches in jurisdictions classified as tax havens, used as “incubators” for anonymous companies.
Up to 32 trillion hidden. Among the customers also Tony Blair
An estimate released by the ICIJ notes that the hidden figure could be between 5,600 and 32,000 billion dollars. The International Monetary Fund said resorting to tax havens costs the government the equivalent of $ 600 billion in lost taxes each year.
According to the weekly l’Espresso, the list includes 29 thousand beneficiaries, with 25 world leaders and 300 politicians from 90 different countries. Among the “famous” names for international politics are the premier of the Czech Republic Andrej Babis, the Dutch minister of economy Wopke Hoekstra, the former head of the British government Tony Blair, the King of Jordan and presidents of countries such as Ukraine , Kenya, Chile, Ecuador.