The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists today published a portion of the massive 2.6 terabyte leak of internal documents from the Panamaian law firm Mossack Fonseca, known as the Panama Papers.
The searchable database includes portions of the database that have been curated to include what, in the judgement of the ICIJ’s three-hundred-plus journalist partners, can be considered “information in the public interest.”
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In Iceland, the prime minister was forced out of office after the revelations. In Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whose family members’ offshore activities were exposed in the leak, has been thrust into a political crisis. Elsewhere, the revelations have led to arrests and tax evasion investigations.
According to the ICIJ, the newly available database is the “largest ever release of information about offshore companies and the people behind them.” Though it “represents a fraction of the Panama Papers,” the publicly searchable release reveals “more than 360,000 names of people and companies behind secret offshore structures.”
The public release of this data should drastically increase the number of eyeballs examining Mossack Fonseca’s leaked records from the 370-some journalists the ICIJ gathered to investigate the original whistleblower leak for more than a year.
In the context of the Asia-Pacific, several high-profile individuals and organizations had been implicated in the original early-April ICIJ release, as I discussed earlier. (See also original reporting in The Diplomat from two journalists who were part of the ICIJ’s Japan reporting team on the Panama Papers, exploring individuals and organizations implicated in Japan.)