The Panama Papers Leak

1.) Introduction

2.) A Sudanese Power Player

3.) The Aftermath

4.) Further Reading


1.) Introduction

I still remember that day. I mean, how can I forget. April 3, 2016. During my holiday between high school and college. It was one of the biggest scandals in the 21st century.

Under the pseudonym ‘John Doe,’ a whistleblower turned over 11.5 million documents from the law firm Mossack Fonesca to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. “John Doe” didn’t demand financial compensation for the papers.

The information contained in said documents exposed the illicit financial transactions of cartel bosses and a wide range of criminals. That didn’t come to me as a surprise.

But it also exposed a wide range of high-ranking officials, politicians, presidents, Russian oligarchs, former and current heads of state, business people, and celebrities. Disclaimer: There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and offshore banking.

“Most of the documents showed no illegal actions, but some of the shell corporations set up by Mossack Fonseca had been used for fraud, tax evasion, or avoiding international sanctions.” – investopedia

2.) A Sudanese Power Player

A certain individual caught my interest, the former president of Sudan Ahmed Al-Mirghani. He was democratically elected as the president of Sudan in 1986.

He was a Muslim, allegedly a descendant of the prophet Muhammed. Graduated from the University of London, lobbied for peace on the war in Darfur, and actively worked on the Darfur file.

I asked some people who were alive during the administration of Ahmed Al-Mirghani. They said that he had no money to hide.

Well, according to the leaked documents, Mr. Al-Mirganhi was the owner of the British Virgin Islands company Orange Star Corporation, created in 1995.

That same year, Orange Star Corporation purchased a long lease of an apartment in an expensive area of London north of Hyde Park for more than $600,000. (Read More: https://offshoreleaks.icij.org/stories/ahmad-ali-al-mirghani…)

Bizarrely enough, that was never reported on national television and local newspapers.

3.) The Aftermath

Iceland and Pakistan primary ministers have resigned after being implicated, while many have faced criminal charges.

Mossack Fonseca announced its closure in 2018. Germany has issued an arrest warrant for Mossack Fonseca lawyers Ramón Fonseca and Juergen Mossack for operating a criminal organization and tax evasion.

But due to Panama’s extradition laws, they were not handed over to Germany. In Panama, they face charges connected to the Panama Papers scandal and bribery with a Brazillian company, of which they spent two months in jail before bonding out.

Countries have recouped more than $1.36 billion in unpaid taxes, fines, and penalties as a result of inquiries sparked by the Panama Paper.

5.) Further Reading

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists: https://www.icij.org/investigations/panama-papers/five-years-later-panama-papers-still-having-a-big-impact/

Offshore Leaks Database: https://offshoreleaks.icij.org/

Wikipedia Entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_Paper