A global law firm based in Panama, called Mossack Fonseca has leaked a list of current and former politicians who have secret money stashed in foreign reserves. There are also other big names on the list including mexican drug lords, sports stars, celebrities, and so on.
The leak coined the Panama papers contains three terabytes worth of information for the past 40 years and has sent the entire world into a frenzy. Mossack Fonseca, which is based in Panama Island is a secretive law firm — the fourth biggest offshore firm in fact that helps to incorporate private companies into offshore countries.
The list was given to Süddeutsche Zeitung, a German newspaper through undisclosed sources, it was then shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) who reviewed the list for about a year and deciphered who were really behind the offshore accounts.
HOW THE MONEY IS HIDDEN
To preserve anonymity, some big wigs usually pick a confidant, say a close friend or relative. Said person will have a company/ companies set up in their name. Also one has to employ the service of a law firm which specializes in integrating companies in offshore jurisdictions, in this case Mossack Fonseca. The Panama papers discovered 214,000 of such ‘companies’.
By incorporating these letterbox companies into the British Virgin Isles, Switzerland, Panama island or any other country with relaxed laws, the firms are exempt from paying taxes and the dealings are kept private… unless someone leaks the document to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
African Politicians Connected To The Panama Papers
With a list like this which is considered the biggest leak in history for the 260 GB worth of information, it should be anything but surprising to have African politicians on the list.
Some of the politicians and those connected to politicians on the Panama papers include;
- John Addo Kuofor, son of former president of Ghana
- Jean-Claude N’Da Ametchi, associate of Cote D’Ivoire’s former president, Laurent Gbagbo
- Clive Khulubuse Zuma, nephew to South African President Zuma.
- Mamadie Toure, widow of Guinea’s former dictator.
- Jaynet Désirée Kabila Kyungu, member of DR Congo parliament
- José Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos, Angola’s Minister of Petroleum
- Kalpana Rawal, deputy Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Kenya
- Ian Kirby, president of Botswana Court of Appeal
- Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, Minister of Scientific Research and Technical Innovation Congo
- James Ibori, former governor of Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta state
- Emmanuel Ndahiro, former Ugandan Intelligence chief
- Attan Shansonga, former Zambian ambassador to the U.S
- Kojo Annan, son of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan
- Karim wade, former Senegalese minister
Besides these names some popular big names include president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and so on.