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In the spring of 2015, a series of journalist revelations emerged known as the "Panama Papers."
- The Panama Papers are a massive cache of documents
- The Panama Papers were secretly leaked to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which shared the documents with several other journalistic entities for verification.
- The papers, akin to the WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden releases, have proven to be a bombshell in international politics and finance
- The Panama Papers appear to show how numerous wealth individuals, including several world leaders, have hidden large sums of money in offshore banks.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung claims that the Panama Papers, 2.6-terabytes worth of emails, contracts, and scanned documents, came to them from an anonymous source. This would make the cache bigger than either the WikiLeaks documents or the Snowden release. These documents detail the financial accountings of 140 politicians and public officials, including the Prime Minister of Iceland and several individuals closely connected with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Panama Papers documents appear to have come from internal files from Mossack Fonesca, the world's fourth-largest offshore law firm, based in Panama. They apparently show the myriad of ways in which the super rich and connected are able to exploit offshore accounts in order to both hide large amounts of money and avoid tax liability. As of this writing, the complete fallout from the Panama Papers remains to be fully understood.