The Mossack Fonseca law firm offices in Panama City
The Panama Papers scandal will deepen around the world today when the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists puts most of the digital cache of documents online, accessible to all.
The ICIJ said it will release the documents in a searchable database at 1800 GMT on Monday accessible to the public at offshoreleaks.icij.org.
The US-based organization said the release “will not be a ‘data dump’” of the sort the Wikileaks group became known for.
But it will reveal names and information on 200,000 offshore entities set up by wealthy individuals around the world.
The documents are from 2.6 terabytes of data given to a German newspaper, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, over a year ago by an anonymous source using the name “John Doe.”
– Data from ‘John Doe’ –
The data came from nearly four decades of digital archives of one Panamanian law firm specialized in creating and running offshore entities, Mossack Fonseca, which says its computer records were hacked from abroad.
The German newspaper gave access to the trove to the ICIJ, and through it to hundreds of journalists in different countries.
Reports thus far have focused on scores of high-profile individuals: political leaders, celebrities and a few criminals.
– Iceland’s prime minister was forced to resign when his name was linked to an offshore company.
– British Prime Minister David Cameron ended up admitting he profited from an offshore firm started by his father.
– Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest circle was named in the revelations, prompting Putin to claim the Panama Papers was a US plot against him.
– Argentine President Mauricio Macri was also linked to offshore companies.
– China censored media and online social networks from mentioning links between the families of Chinese leaders with offshore entities.