We all know about the Swiss Bank case, and the money laundering cases there. Also some time ago Swiss Bank revealed names of those Indians who had maintained accounts there. Now the master of that information, Panama Papers has leaked which has shocked the whole World with the information in it.
Panama Papers is a global investigation which contains the list of persons who use offshore industries (setting up industries in foreign countries or investing in foreign countries) to hide their assets.
Important about the leak:
In the last one year, around 400 journalists from more than 100 media organizations in over 80 countries have taken part in researching the documents which have been leaked now.
- The leak consisted of 11.5 million documents from Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm. The papers were initially released to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. The newspaper then partnered with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
- The documents showed the internal dealings, emails, invoices, and documents shared between the world’s elite and the lawyers paid to help them retain their wealth.
- The papers named 140 politicians from more than 50 countries linked to offshore financial dealings in more than 20 tax havens.
- For example, Apple’s global sales go through its subsidiary company in Ireland, which has lower corporate income tax. Individuals can’t really do this. Instead, they can go to law firms like Mossack Fonseca to set up inactive companies, called shell companies, the sole purpose of which is to hold financial assets.
- Journalists from media organizations like BBC, Guardian, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and The Indian Express among others have also worked on the project.
- The Papers have revealed names of thousands of people from across the world who escaped from paying tax and laundered money by taking help from Mossack Fonseca.
About Mossack Fonseca:
- Mossack Fonseca is a law firm based in Panama. Founded in 1977, it is the world’s fourth biggest provider of offshore services.
- Mossack Fonseca says it complies with international protocols to ensure its companies are not used for money laundering, tax dodging or other illicit purposes.
- But the Panama Papers have proved this wrong.
- Our country, India has stricter rules for paying tax whether be individual or corporate for all the people around World. But there are some countries which do not imply there rules to individuals and firms of foreign counties. These countries are called tax haven.
- They also provide little or no financial information to foreign tax authorities. So people take advantage of these countries to avoid paying taxes in their home countries.
- Tax havens are: Andorra, the Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, the Channel Islands, the Cook Islands, Hong Kong, the Isle of Man, Mauritius, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Panama, Switzerland and St. Kitts and Nevis.
Some persons on the list are:
- Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina,
- Salman of Saudi Arabia, King of Saudi Arabia,
- Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates,
- Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine,
- Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan,
- Lionel Messi, Argentine footballer,
- Nico Rosberg, German Formula 1 driver,
- Diego Forlán, Uruguayan footballer,
- Jackie Chan, Chinese actor, etc.
- Anurag Kejriwal, former president of the Lok Satta Party,
- Anil Vasudev Salgaocar, former Member of the Goa Legislative Assembly,
- Rajendra Patil, son-in-law of Karnataka minister Shamanuru Shivashankarappa and businessperson,
- Amitabh Bachchan, Indian actor,
- Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Indian actress and former Miss World,
- Vinod Adani, Indian businessman, etc.