Before we try to understand what exactly happened in the Panama Paper leak, let’s understand this anecdote. This story is about Vali and Sugreev. They were both brothers, but one of them was jealous of Hanuman and wanted to be the strongest in the world. The greed made Vali attain the power- the power which would let him suck the opponent’s power or energy by half.
This way he was never defeated. Applying this situation here, we would infer- in order to become rich the government and bureaucrats have always found ways to maintain their status. In other words, they always found a way to feed their egos. Similarly, in the urge to do so, corruption arises. When the greed to earn a lot of money can make a man do things that are unlawful and diabolic.
So back then in 2004, inorder to save some money the people tried to put it else here and hide it. By doing this they reported to the income tax that they were running in loss. Now, Let’s Discuss Panama Paper Leak.
There’s this daily newspaper named Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) and anonymous source (AS)- the man who tipped SZ. So let’s put it in a conversation format:
AS: Hello! interested in some data?
SZ: Sure, why not?
AS: There are a couple of conditions, my life is in danger. We will only chat over encrypted files. No meeting, ever. The choice of stories is obviously up to you.
SZ: Why are you doing this?
AS: I want to make these crimes public.
This was the conversation. This is how the information leaked. SZ was the first to get the information, they later sort to get some help from the- international consortium of an investigative journalist(ICJI). Over 100 organizations from around the world did simultaneous investigations into this massive leak of data belonging to Mossack Fonesca.
The SZ had acquired 2.6 TB of data, this wasn’t just a leak it was the Biggest leak that ever happened. This Law firm had helped a lot of them hide their money.
What was the intensity of the leak?
This was the biggest leak ever, larger than the US diplomatic Cables released by WikiLeaks in 2010 and the secret intelligence documents were given to the journalists by Edward Snowden in 2013.
What’s the Scale of the Leak?
||Name of the Leak.
||Luxemburg Leaks (2014)
||Panama Paper leak (2016)
This table gives us a fair picture of how huge and big this leak was.
2.6TB isn’t a small thing. Panama papers include approximately 11.5 million documents, that is more than the combined total of WikiLeaks Cablegate, offshore leaks, Luxe leaks and Swiss Leaks. The data primarily comprised of e-mails, pdf files, photos and excerpts of an internal Mossack Fonesca database. It covers a period of time spanning from the 1970’s to the spring of 2016.
Whatever Panama papers leaked, the company has helped investors escape paying tax , launder money so on and so forth. Among the various people of the world. There are 500 Indians who are stake holders in this company.
After so much of information overload. One will ask what is this whole Mossack Fonesca thing?
What is Mossack Fonesca?
It is a law Firm which sells anonymous offshore companies across the world. It helps in hiding promoters their business details. The firm has many offices across the globe. As of now, it has dealt with numerous companies, which they have founded, sold and managed. It mainly worked in cities like Zurich, London, HongKong and Panama.
What is a shell company?
It is a non-trading company used as a vehicle for various financial maneuvers or kept domain for future use in some other company.
What is an offshore company?
It is then a company incorporated for the purpose of operating outside the country of its registration and/ or the place of residence of its directors, shareholders and beneficial owners. Again, this is typically pursued to realize various financial or legal or tax benefits.
Whatever Panama papers leaked, the corporate has helped investors escape paying tax , launder cash so on and so forth. Among the varied individuals of the globe. There are five hundred Indians who are stake holders in this company.
The leaked information is structured as follows: Mossack Fonseca created a folder for every shell firm. every folder contains e-mails, contracts, transcripts, and scanned documents. In some instances, there are many thousand pages of documentation. First, the info had to be consistently indexed to form exploring through this ocean of knowledge potential. To this end, the Süddeutsche Zeitung used Nuix, identical program that international investigators work with. Süddeutsche Zeitung and ICIJ uploaded millions of documents onto superior computers. They applied optical character recognition (OCR) to rework information into machine-readable and straightforward to search files. The method turned pictures – like scanned IDs and signed contracts – into searchable text. This was a crucial step: it enabled journalists to comb through as giant a little of the leak as potential employing a simple search mask the same as Google.
The journalists compiled lists of necessary politicians, international criminals, and well-known skilled athletes, among others. The digital processing created it attainable to then search the leak for the names on these lists. The “party donations scandal” list contained a hundred thirty names, and therefore the United Nations sanctions list over 600. In just a couple of minutes, the powerful search algorithmic program compared the lists with the 11.5 million documents.
This was how everything came to light. When our conscience strikes our hearts, that’s when problems are looked on too. Mostly, our guilt makes us reveal stuff. Corruption and crime have been a part and parcel of life now. We can destroy the problem as such, but we can control it. To control it we should have a pure mind and soul, unlike today’s government.