Pandora Papers are a leak of almost 12 million documents revealing hidden wealth, tax avoidance and even money laundering by some of the world’s most wealthy and powerful personalities.
The Pandora Papers contain 2.94-terabyte database includes offshore deals and assets of more than 100 billionaires, 30 world leaders and 300 public officials.
What is the Pandora Papers?
The Pandora Papers investigation is the world’s largest-ever journalistic collaboration, involving more than 600 journalists from 150 media outlets in 117 countries.
Pandora Papers investigation is base on a leak of confidential records of 14 offshore service providers that give professional services to wealthy peoples and corporations seeking to incorporate shell companies, trusts, foundations and other entities in low- or no-tax jurisdictions.
The entities enable owners to conceal their identities from the public and sometimes from regulators.
The service providers help them open bank accounts in countries with light financial regulation.
Pandora Papers contains 2.94 terabytes of data, leaked to ICIJ and share with media partners around the world in various formats like documents, images, emails, spreadsheets, and many more.
Pandora Papers records include an unprecedented amount of information on so-called beneficial owners of peoples registered in the British Virgin Islands, Seychelles, Hong Kong, Belize, Panama, South Dakota and many other secrecy jurisdictions.
The Pandora Papers also contain information on the shareholders, directors and officers.
Peoples those expose by the Pandora Papers leak include people who don’t represent a public interest and who don’t appear in our reporting, such as small business owners, doctors and other, usually affluent, individuals away from the public spotlight.
Also some of the files date to the 1970s, most of those review by ICIJ were creat between 1996 and 2020.
Pandora Papers cover a wide range of matters like the creation of shell companies, foundations and trusts, the use of such entities to purchase real estate, yachts, jets and life insurance and their use to make investments and to move money between bank accounts, estate planning and other inheritance issues and the avoidance of taxes through complex financial schemes.
Some documents are tied to financial crimes, including money laundering.
More than 330 politicians expose by the leak were from more than 90 countries and territories.
The Pandora Papers investigation also reveals how banks and law firms work closely with offshore service providers to design complex corporate structures.
The Pandora Papers files show that providers don’t always know their customers, despite their legal obligation to take care not to do business with people who engage in questionable dealings.
Pandora Papers investigation also reports on how US trust providers have taken advantage of some states’ laws that promote secrecy and help wealthy overseas clients hide wealth to avoid taxes in their home countries.
What Form did Pandora Papers Data come out?
The 11.9 million-plus records were largely unstructured.
More than half of the files (6.4 million) were text documents, including more than 4 million PDFs, some of which ran to more than 10,000-pages.
The Pandora Papers documents included passports, bank statements, tax declarations, company incorporation records, real estate contracts and due diligence questionnaires.
There were also more than 4.1 million images and emails in the leak.
Spreadsheets made up 4% of the documents, or more than 467,000.
The Pandora Papers records also includes slide shows and audio and video files.
What is the meaning of ‘offshore’?
Pandora Papers reveal complex networks of companies that are set up across borders, often resulting in hidden ownership of money and assets.
If someone may relocate (a business or department) to a foreign country to take advantage of lower taxes or costs.
They could have a property in the US, but own it via a chain of companies base in other countries or “offshore”.
Use of tax haven Is illegal?
Despite the potential for criminal use of bank accounts in so-called “tax havens” it is completely possible and very common for them to be utilise in ways that are perfectly legal and legitimate.
If you stay in the country where the account exists then you are an ex-pat or have dual citizenship and all taxable income that enters your account is properly declare and remains abroad then your use of it is legal.
And if you run a business or own property in the same location that plays host to the bank account and fully declare any income from these sources or other projects to HMRC then your behaviour is completely right track with the law.
Who Leaked the Pandora Papers?
The data was obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) who have been working with more than 140 media organisations in the biggest ever global investigation.
ICIJ said the files are link to about 35 current and former national leaders and more than 330 politicians and public officials in 91 countries and territories.
600 journalists from 117 countries have been trawling through the documents for months as they look to publish stories this week.
What is in a Name “Pandora Papers”?
The papers are name after the Greek myth of Pandora’s box.
As per the tale Pandora opens a sealed box containing the forces of evil and suffering which, once release were uncontainable.
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