Monday, April 4, 2016

Jaws Drop to 'Panama Papers' Leak

Following-up from earlier, "Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur Davi Gunnlaugsson Pressured to Resign in #PanamaPapers Scandal (VIDEO)."

At USA Today, "Worldwide, jaws drop to 'Panama Papers' leak":
Sunday’s jaw-dropping “Panama Papers” leak, which shows a global network of offshore companies helping the wealthy hide their assets, is already being called “the Wikileaks of the mega-rich."

The hashtag #panamapapers topped Twitter on Sunday afternoon. Among those reacting through tweets: Edward Snowden, the 2013 CIA leaker, who said the “Biggest leak in the history of data journalism just went live, and it's about corruption.”

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters that the Kremlin had already received “a series of questions in a rude manner” from an organization that he said was trying to smear Putin.

“Journalists and members of other organizations have been actively trying to discredit Putin and this country’s leadership,” Peskov said.

The Washington, D.C.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ) said the trove of 11.5 million records details the offshore holdings of a dozen current and former world leaders, as well as businessmen, criminals, celebrities and sports stars. The data span nearly 40 years, from 1977 through the end of 2015, ICIJ said, allowing “a never-before-seen view inside the offshore world — providing a day-to-day, decade-by-decade look at how dark money flows through the global financial system, breeding crime and stripping national treasuries of tax revenues.”

Jim Clarken, the CEO of Oxfam Ireland, tweeted: "As long as tax dodging continues to drain government coffers, there is a human cost."

In Australia, the country's tax office said it was investigating more than 800 wealthy clients of the Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca for possible tax evasion, Reuters reported.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) said it had linked more than 120 of the clients "to an associate offshore service provider located in Hong Kong."  ATO Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston said his office was working with the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Crime Commission and anti-money laundering regulator AUSTRAC.

Iceland’s prime minister, one of several major politicians with alleged links to secret “shell” companies, was expected to face calls for a snap election, Britain’s Guardian reported...