The leaked information was given to the German newspaper Sddeutsche Zeitung, and it and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists analyzed the data. Close to 400 journalists from over 100 news organizatons in 76 countries worked for a year on the project. The documents revealed information about offshore investments associated with more the 140 politicians or their families, including national leaders in Russia, Ukraine, Pakistan, Iraq, Iceland, and Britain and prominent officials in China; Prime Minister Sigmundur Dav Gunnlaugsson of Iceland (2016) and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan (2017) both lost power as a result of the revelations. Mossack Fonseca denied any wrongdoing in its handling of the investments, and asserted that all the dealings in offshore companies were legal. Subsequently, however, its headquarters in Panama City was raided in a search for evidence of money laundering and other illegal activities. Mossack Fonseca, which had officers and affiliates in other countries that had been accused of money laundering, corruption, and tax evasion, announced the closure of the firm, due to loss of business and damage to its reputation, in 2018. In late 2018 the U.S. Justice Dept. indicted several people associated with the schemes revealed by the Panama Papers for alleged tax evasion.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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