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The Dirty Little Secrets

When nearly a trillion dollars of U.S. taxpayer funds disappeared in the U.S. Department of Energy Cleantech Crash, federal officials and politicians said that “there was no corruption” and that there were no political conspiracies. Now the secrets are spilling out, like a river of revelations, and the truth is clear: The politicians have their own organized crime network!

Financial and political bosses from Google, The U.S. Congress, Elon Musk’s money bag-men, Goldman Sachs and others are included in this, and other recent leaks. The implications are huge, historical and change EVERYTHING!

While the bad guys always cried: “Conspiracy theorists”, to try to denigrate their exposure, today is the day that Conspiracy became a solid reality!

Here are the famous politicos in ‘the Wikileaks of the mega-rich’

by Fusion Investigative Unit

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It’s being called the “Panama Papers” — a trove of 11.5 million leaked internal documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, showing how hundreds of thousands of people with money to hide used anonymous shell corporations across the world. Fusion’s investigative unit was one of the more than 100 media organizations that dove into the files — and found drug dealers, arms traders, human traffickers, fraudsters. We also found no shortage of politicians or their family members.


Dirty little secrets: Inside the ‘Wikileaks of the ultra-rich and ultra-powerful’

Here is a listing of current and former world leaders connected to the files. Check out Dirty Little Secrets, Fusion’s full investigation into the leak and the underworld it exposes.

For additional information on these names and more, read “The Power Players,” an interactive presentation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), from which much of this information is gleaned.

President of Argentina
Macri — who as president has vowed to fight corruption — is listed, with his Italian tycoon father Francisco and brother Mariano, as a director of Fleg Trading Ltd., incorporated in the Bahamas in 1998 and dissolved in January 2009 — a financial connection Macri didn’t disclose on asset declarations when he was mayor of Buenos Aires. His spokesman said didn’t list Fleg Trading Ltd. as an asset because he had no capital participation in the company. The company, used to participate in interests in Brazil, was related to the family business group. “This is why Maricio Macri was occasionally its director,” he said, reiterating that Macri was not a shareholder.

Former Iraqi PM

A wealthy Iraqi exile who helped lead the push for war with Saddam Hussein, Allawi returned to Iraq to serve as prime minister in 2004. He also served as vice president s recently as last year. From 1985 to 2013, Mossack Fonseca helped run his Panama-registered company I.M.F. Holdings Inc. I.M.F. owned a house in Kingston upon Thames, England worth roughly $1.5 million, and another offshore company of his, Moonlight Estates Ltd., held a property in London. Representatives for Allawi confirmed that he “is the sole director and shareholder of Foxwood Estates Limited, Moonlight Estates Limited and IMF Holdings Inc.,” adding that he ran many of his house purchases through anonymous offshores “in light of an assassination attempt on him.” Indeed, he survived an attempt on his life in 1978, presumably by Saddam Hussein.

PM of Iceland

A radio personality who led the Progressive Party to victory after the financial crisis of 2008, Gunnlaugsson and his wealthy wife owned a British Virgin Islands shell company called Wintris Inc., that held nearly $4 million in bonds in Iceland’s three major banks. He failed to declare his ownership of Wintris on entering the Parliament in 2009. In March, a TV interviewer asked Gunnlaugsson if he had ever owned an offshore company. “Myself? No,” he said, adding: “Well, the Icelandic companies I have worked with had connections with offshore companies.” A spokesman told the ICIJ that Gunnlaugsson and his family had followed all Icelandic laws.

King of Saudi Arabia

Through a series of British Virgin Islands shell companies, the Saudi king appears to have taken out several luxury mortgages for houses in London — at least $34 million worth — and held “a luxury yacht the length of a football field.The king did not answer the ICIJ’s requests for comment.

President of Ukraine

Known as Ukraine’s billionaire “chocoloate king,” Poroshenko swept into office in 2014 vowing reforms that have not yet come. He became the sole shareholder of Prime Asset Partners Limited in 2014, as Russian troops invaded Eastern Ukraine. The following year, Poroshenko vowed to sell most of his assets; news reports said they ultimately ended up in “Prime Asset Capital.” His spokesman told the ICIJ said that “creation of the trust and related corporate structures had no relation to political and military events in Ukraine,” adding that his assets held by an independently managed fund — Prime Asset Capital.

Cousins of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad

For years, any foreign company seeking to do business in Syria had to be cleared by Rami, who controlled key economic sectors such as oil and telecommunications. Hafez, a general in charge of Syria’s intelligence and security apparatus, has been suspected of helping his older brother intimidate business rivals.” The cousins have been subjected to international financial sanctions and appear to have used multiple offshore accounts to siphon wealth from Syrian industry and avoid freezes on their assets. In early 2011, emails show employees at Mossack Fonseca discussing U.S. sanctions and allegations of bribery and corruption made against members of the Makhlouf family. By that June, Mossack had cut its ties with the Makhloufs.

Son of ex-U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan

Then only son of former U.N. head Kofi Annan courted controversy in 1998, when a firm of his won a big contract under the U.N.’s Oil-for-Food humanitarian program in Iraq. An inquiry eventually cleared father and son of any corruption in the deal. Internal Mossack Fonseca documents show Koji Annan has held several offshore shell companies, using one to purchase a half-million-dollar apartment in central London. A spokesman for Annan said his business was for “normal, legal purposes of managing family and business matters and has been fully disclosed in accordance with applicable laws.”

PM of Pakistan

For years, Sharif, a longtime presence in Pakistani politics, has had to answer questions about his family’s “riches from a network of businesses that include steel, sugar and paper mills and extensive international property holdings,” ICIJ says. Mossacks’ documents show a series of offshore companies operated by Sharif’s children, Mariam, Hussein and Hasan, including one to hold “a UK property each for use by the family” and others that moved million in assets. Mossack Fonseca resigned from a company Hasan directed in 2007, calling him “a politically exposed person.” The Sharif family did not respond to the ICIJ’s requests for comment.

Lifelong friends of Russian President Vladimir Putin

The billionaire brothers grew up with Putin and have benefited richly from his turns as Russia’s president and prime minister. The U.S. has sanctioned their wealth over alleged corruption, particularly allegations they profited over contracts from the 2014 Sochi Olympics. They ran at least seven British Virgin Islands shell companies “involved in everything from investing in a major pipeline construction company… to buying equipment for the construction of an Italian villa in Tuscany for Arkady’s son.”

Close persona friend of Putin

Widely known as one of the world’s better cellists, Roldugin has been close to Putin since the 1970s, when the future president worked in the Soviet KGB. Documents show Roldugin owned three shell companies, two of which were funded by a Russian organ that the U.S. government calls “Russia’s ‘personal bank for senior officials.’” Through those companies, Roldugin appears to hold significant shares of Kamaz, Russia’s largest truckmaker, and a major state media corporation.

Father of David Cameron

The father of Great Britain’s current Conservative Prime Minister died in 2010, having amassed a fortune in smart investments. According to the documents, “Cameron helped create and develop Blairmore Holdings Inc. in Panama in 1982 and was involved in the investment fund until his 2010 death.” Blairmore was valued at $20 million in 1998 and was promoted to investors in brochures as “not liable to taxation on its income or capital gains.” The promotional literature added that Cameron’s fund “will not be subject to United Kingdom corporation tax or income tax on its profits.”

Panama Papers: Massive Tax Haven Document Leak Exposes Corruption and Crime on Global Scale

A trove of files obtained by German journalists reveals how a global industry of law firms and large banks sell financial secrecy services to politicians, crooks and drug dealers as well as billionaires, celebrities and sports stars.

Uri Blau and Daniel Dolev

The Panama Papers: Politicians, Criminals, and the Rogue Industry That Hides Their Cash

Panama Papers: Hundreds of Israeli companies, shareholders listed in leaked documents detailing offshore holdings
The Putin connection: Cronies of Russian president used shady companies to funnel $2 billion
Panama Papers: The prime ministers, presidents and kings who benefited from tax shelters

A massive leak of millions of documents has revealed that heads of state, criminals and celebrities conduct and sometimes conceal their business activities in tax havens. The leak exposes holdings in shadowy companies that are owned by 11 past and present heads of state, and reveals how partners of Russian President Vladimir Putin clandestinely transferred no less than $2 billion through banks and companies registered in tax shelters.

The source of the leaked documents is a very powerful yet not very well-known law firm called Mossack Fonseca. This firm has branches in Hong Kong, Miami, Zurich and more than 35 other locations around the world, among them Israel. The documents reveal many Israeli connections and disclose that businesspeople with Israeli citizenship as well as Israeli banks and companies have used the law firm to register companies in tax havens around the world.

The documents expose, among other things, firms controlled by the prime ministers of Iceland and Pakistan, the king of Saudi Arabia and the children of the president of Azerbaijan registered in tax havens. They refer to at least 33 companies and individuals that have been on a United States government blacklist for having connections with Mexican drug lords, terror organizations like Hezbollah and rogue states like North Korea and Iran. One of the companies exposed in the leaked documents provided fuel for the aircraft used by the Syrian government to bomb and kill thousands of its citizens.

Among the revelations are secret manipulations by banks, companies and individuals connected to Vladimir Putin. The documents name companies registered in tax havens that have links to the Russian president and his network, and have carried out money transfers of as much as $200 million at a time. Putin’s associates disguised payments, backdated documents and accumulated influence behind the scenes at media companies and in automobile industries.
Inside the Panama Papers ICIJ

These findings are being disclosed on Sunday and over the next several days with the publication of the results of an investigation conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and more than 100 other media organizations, among them Haaretz. The database of 11.5 million documents and correspondences that has come into the hands of the ICIJ reveals how a global industry of law firms and large banks sell financial secrecy services to politicians, crooks and drug dealers as well as billionaires, celebrities and sports stars.

The investigation began after Süddeutsche Zeitung journalists obtained millions of documents from a secret source and shared them with the ICIJ and other media partners. The media organizations involved in this collaboration have not paid for the documents. For many months journalists working in more than 25 languages cooperated in the biggest journalistic investigation of all time. They delved into the internal operations of Mossack Fonseca and traced its clients’ secret deals worldwide. They shared information with each other and chased down clues with the help of corporate documents, title deeds, financial transactions, court records and interviews with money-laundering experts and top law-enforcement officials.

Forty years of tax havens

Mossack Fonseca is one of the leading firms in the creation of shell companies that often serve to conceal ownership of assets. The firm’s internal documents contain information concerning 214,488 bodies in tax havens, which are connected to persons in more than 200 states and territories. ICIJ will publish a complete list of the companies and the individuals connected to them at the beginning of May. The information includes emails, financial balance sheets and data on companies that reveal the secret owners of bank accounts and companies in 21 tax shelters from Nevada to Singapore to the British Virgin Islands.

The leaked information covers a span of nearly 40 years, from 1977 until the end of 2015. It provides a first look of its kind into the world of tax havens. Innumerable email exchanges, letters and passport photocopies document how day after day, decade after decade, wealth flowed to these companies through the pipelines of the global financial system.

The documents clearly show that large banks are the main impelling force behind the establishment of companies whose ownership is virtually untraceable in the British Virgin Islands, Panama and other tax havens. The materials detail more than 15,300 companies that banks have established for clients wishing to conceal their financial conduct, among them hundreds of companies established by the international giants UBS and HSBC.

Israeli banks, too, appear in the files. It turns out that Bank Hapoalim managed some of its trusteeship activities for trust funds through the law firm. This activity, carried out by means of the subsidiary Poalim Trust Services, closed down in 2011. The documents also contains many correspondences concerning Bank Leumi activity in Jersey in the Channel Islands.

Most of the services provided by the tax haven industry are legal — strictly speaking, according the letter of the law. However, the documents show that banks, law firms and others involved in tax havens have not always been strict about conforming to the legal requirements that aim to ensure that clients are not involved in criminal activity, are not evading tax payments and are not involved in political corruption. In a number of cases, the documents show that intermediaries in the tax havens took measures to protect themselves and their clients by means of concealing suspicious fund transfers or making changes in the records. Sometimes this was done while encouraging crime and evading taxes.

A number of heads of states who have declared war on corruption star in the leaked documents. The investigation found companies registered in tax havens that are connected to the family of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who swore to combat “the armies of corruption,” as well as to the president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, who sees himself as a reformer in a country that is rife with corruption. The documents also contain new information about transactions in tax shelters carried out by the late father of British Prime Minister David Cameron, a leader in the initiative to tackle the issue of tax havens.

The documents include information about one person convicted of money laundering and organizing illegal election donations of $50,000 which were then used to pay the burglars in the Watergate affair. They also contain the names of 29 of the billionaires on Forbes Magazine’s list of the 500 Richest People in the World, among them the Israeli Idan Ofer. Film star Jackie Chan, who is also on the Forbes list, owns at least six companies managed by the law firm. As is the case for many Mossack Fonseca clients, there is no evidence of illegal actions taken by Chan through these companies.

Owning a company registered in a tax haven is not illegal. Sometimes, for purposes of international financial transactions, this is a reasonable business decision. However, the Mossack Fonseca documents show that among its clients were Ponzi scheme initiators, drug lords, tax evaders and at least one convicted sex offender: An American businessman convicted of traveling to Russia to have sexual relations with orphaned minors signed documents as the director of a company registered in a tax haven while serving his prison sentence in New Jersey.

The documents also reveal new information about publicized scandals, from the largest gold heist in the history of Britain to accusations of corruption connected to FIFA, the international soccer association. The leaked documents show that the Uruguayan law firm of FIFA ethics committee member Juan Pedro Damiani had business ties to three men who have been convicted in the FIFA corruption case: former FIFA vice president Eugenio Figueredo and father and son Hugo and Mariano Jinkis. The latter two were convicted of paying bribes to obtain broadcast rights for soccer matches in South America. Documents show that Damiani’s law firm represented a company registered to Jinkis and seven others registered to Figueredo in a tax haven.

The name of the best soccer player in the world, Lionel Messi, also appears in the documents. A company in Panama called Mega Star Enterprises, Inc., which was established in 2012 by Mossack Fonseca, adds another name to the list of shelf companies connected to Messi that are currently under investigation by the Spanish authorities on suspicion of tax evasion.

Mossack Fonseca aggressively protects the confidentiality of their clients, be they famous or unknown. The files show that in Nevada, the firm tried to protect itself and its clients from the outcome of a legal suit by recruiting computer experts to erase evidence from the telephones and computers of its Las Vegas branch employees.

The leaked files show that the firm submitted backdated documents in order to help its clients profit from their financial transactions. This practice was so common that email exchanges from 2007 show that the firm’s employees discussed preparing a price list — for every month that a document was backdated, clients would pay $8.75.

In reply to ICIJ questions about these methods, Mossack Fonseca replied that backdating of documents “is a well-founded and accepted practice” that is “common in our industry and its aim is not to cover up or hide unlawful acts.” The company noted that it would not be able to answer questions about specific instances because of its obligation to maintain client privacy.

In a recent interview on Panamanian television, Ramon Fonseca, the founder of the law firm, said that his company is not responsible for what clients do in the businesses it helps them register in tax shelters. He compared his firm to “an automobile factory, which is no longer responsible once the car has been produced.” Blaming Mossack Fonseca for what people do with their companies, he said, would be like blaming the manufacturer “if a car it made was used for purposes of robbery.”

Not everyone agrees with him. “The findings show how deeply crime and illegal conduct are entrenched in the world of tax havens,” says economist Gabriel Zucman of the University of California at Berkeley, the author of the book “The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens.” Zucman, who participated in the ICIJ investigation, says that the publication of the leaked documents should encourage governments to impose “concrete sanctions” on countries where such firms are registered and on institutions that provide confidentiality for companies using tax havens.

Haaretz Correspondent
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/1.712456?v=7FB22AE7C3FD1E9FFFAAEA8D7F99A063

Largest Leak Ever: Whistleblower Reveals Global Elite Crime Network

The Panama Papers: 2.6 TB of leaked data

Süddeutsche Zeitung – 

Image Credits: FLICKR, DUKE_RAOUL.

Over a year ago, an anonymous source contacted the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) and submitted encrypted internal documents from Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm that sells anonymous offshore companies around the world.

These shell firms enable their owners to cover up their business dealings, no matter how shady.

In the months that followed, the number of documents continued to grow far beyond the original leak. Ultimately, SZ acquired about 2.6 terabytes of data, making the leak the biggest that journalists had ever worked with. The source wanted neither financial compensation nor anything else in return, apart from a few security measures.

The data provides rare insights into a world that can only exist in the shadows. It proves how a global industry led by major banks, legal firms, and asset management companies secretly manages the estates of the world’s rich and famous: from politicians, Fifa officials, fraudsters and drug smugglers, to celebrities and professional athletes.

A group effort

The Süddeutsche Zeitung decided to analyze the data in cooperation with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). ICIJ had already coordinated the research for past projects that SZ was also involved in, among them Offshore Leaks, Lux Leaks, and Swiss Leaks. Panama Papers is the biggest-ever international cooperation of its kind. In the past 12 months, around 400 journalists from more than 100 media organizations in over 80 countries have taken part in researching the documents. These have included teams from the Guardian and the BBC in England, Le Monde in France, and La Nación in Argentina. In Germany, SZ journalists have cooperated with their colleagues from two public broadcasters, NDR and WDR. Journalists from the Swiss Sonntagszeitung and the Austrian weekly Falter have also worked on the project, as have their colleagues at ORF, Austria’s national public broadcaster. The international team initially met in Washington, Munich, Lillehammer and London to map out the research approach.

The data

The Panama Papers include approximately 11.5 million documents – more than the combined total of the Wikileaks Cablegate, Offshore Leaks, Lux Leaks, and Swiss Leaks. The data primarily comprises e-mails, pdf files, photo files, and excerpts of an internal Mossack Fonseca database. It covers a period spanning from the 1970s to the spring of 2016.

Moreover, the journalists crosschecked a large number of documents, including passport copies. About two years ago, a whistleblower had already sold internal Mossack Fonseca data to the German authorities, but the dataset was much older and smaller in scope: while it addressed a few hundred offshore companies, the Panama Papers provide data on some 214,000 companies. In the wake of the data purchase, last year investigators searched the homes and offices of about 100 people. The Commerzbank was also raided. As a consequence of their business dealings with Mossack Fonseca, Commerzbank, HSH Nordbank, and Hypovereinsbank agreed to pay fines of around 20 million euros, respectively. Since then, other countries have also acquired data from the initial smaller leak, among them the United States, the UK, and Iceland.

Topics: EPIC THREE TERRA-BYTE DOCUMENT LEAK ENSNARES “EVERYBODY”!, the Panama Papers,Mossack Fonseca, Wikileaks Cablegate, Offshore Leaks, Lux Leaks, and Swiss Leaks, John Doerr, Elon Musk Panama papers, The Cleantech Crash, Goldman Sachs Panama Papers, Interpol investigation, FBI Investigation


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