Dozens of journalists sifted through millions of leaked records and thousands of names to produce ICIJ’s investigation into offshore secrecy
A cache of 2.5 million files has cracked open the secrets of more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts, exposing hidden dealings of politicians, con men and the mega-rich the world over.
The secret records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists lay bare the names behind covert companies and private trusts in the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands and other offshore hideaways.
While we are at the beginning of this story there is already serious news as Greek tax cheats have been exposed throwing into question the country’s actual ability to pay its debts in the larger eurozone crisis. This combined with other influential politicians being disclosed as tax cheats means this story could have some considerable world impact.
The leaked files provide facts and figures — cash transfers, incorporation dates, links between companies and individuals — that illustrate how offshore financial secrecy has spread aggressively around the globe, allowing the wealthy and the well-connected to dodge taxes and fueling corruption and economic woes in rich and poor nations alike.
The records detail the offshore holdings of people and companies in more than 170 countries and territories.
The hoard of documents represents the biggest stockpile of inside information about the offshore system ever obtained by a media organization. The total size of the files, measured in gigabytes, is more than 160 times larger than the leak of U.S. State Department documents by Wikileaks in 2010.
Take a look at the documents yourself or enjoy this easy to use slide show from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to explore the story.