London: The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has published online detailed data from the Panama Papers trove on more than two lakh secret offshore companies.
The data made available on its website on Monday contain basic corporate information about the companies, trusts and foundations set up in 21 jurisdictions, including Hong Kong and the US state of Nevada, reports the Guardian.
The data was obtained from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which it said was hacked.
The users can search the data and see the networks involving the offshore companies, including Mossack Fonseca’s internal records of the true owners.
However, the information and documents on bank accounts, phone numbers and e-mails have been removed from the database.
The ICIJ on Monday said that Mossack Fonseca had files on dozens of Americans, who have faced accusations of civil or criminal financial misconduct. It was based on reporting credited to consortium partners McClatchy Newspapers, the Portland Business Journal and Fusion Investigates.
Its website reported that the people, who had set up offshore companies, included people with publicly available records of their legal troubles.
The report said the leaked records suggest that Mossack Fonseca’s business model made it difficult for it to keep track of its clients’ backgrounds and activities.
The firm set up more than 1,00,000 offshore entities, such as trusts and shell companies between 2005 and 2015, the report said.
“Mossack Fonseca’s working relationships with dozens of Americans tied to financial misconduct raises questions about how well the firm keeps its commitment to following international standards for preventing money laundering and keeping offshore companies out of the hands of criminal elements,” the ICIJ report said.
The ICIJ said that it was publishing the information in public interest as a global movement against tax evasion and secrecy.
It, however, said that it was not making available raw records online, nor was it putting all the information from the records out.
Reports already published in April linked some of the world’s most powerful leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister David Cameron and others to unreported offshore companies.
Nearly 500 Indians were also named in the papers.
The news forced the resignations of Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson and Spain’s Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria. (ANI)