Panama Papers, the biggest journalistic filtration in history, has rocked the financial and political world. The complex transnational research exposes how Mossack Fonseca created offshore entities in Panama to help their clients avoid taxes.
The filtration consist of more than 11.5 million internal files with more than 40 years of data, from 1977 to 2015. However, Mossack Fonseca was consolidated as such in 1986, when Ramon Fonseca merged his small law firm in Panama with another local firm headed by Jürgen Mossack, with a German origin.
Once the data was filtered, cleaned and analyzed, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) shared with different news media in multiple countries the information, so that local journalists who could better understand the implication of information could analyze it. All the works were published at the same time.
The data shows that Mossack Fonseca worked with over 14,000 banks, firms, companies, foundations, funds or clients to create offshore entities. ICIJ used the country categorization contained in the leaked internal client database to describe how many intermediaries in each country existed.
The internal database had no dates for the closure of offshore entities, but this can be explained sinin most cases they don’t close: they’re either inactive or stop paying commissions and its status changes to that of "struck off". So ICIJ considered the closing date for the entity when it had been declared inactive or '' struck off ''.
If there was a discrepancy between the two dates, ICIJ used the one which happened first.
However, the work does not end here. Not only these weeks different media have published more reports on the findings but the ICIJ will publish in May the full list of companies and people who were linked to Mossack Fonseca.
You can view the data and research here.