Panama papers are basically 11.5 million financial documents that have been leaked recently on April 3, 2016 from Panamanian corporate service. These confidential documents contain detailed information of more than 214,000 offshore companies. The provider of the Panamanian law firm and corporate service is Mossack Fonseca and all this information was revealed by him in Panama papers that spread over a time period ranging from 1970 to 2015.
The documents are an illustration of the fact that how rich and wealthy people hide their assets away from public scrutiny. There are many well known politicians involved in this acts including those from Argentina, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Iceland, UAE and many other prominent government officials. It has been found that 12 recent or former leaders of the world have earned millions of dollar and many of the relatives of Russian President, Vladimir Putin have made millions of dollar.
It also revealed that the $26 million amount of Brink’s Mat robbery was also in the offshore company in 1983. It is considered to be the biggest financial data leak in the history.
10. Ilham Aliyev
Ilham Aliyev is the current Prime Minister of Azerbaijan. It has been found out that he has his name in Panama papers. However he is not involved directly but through his first family members off shore accounts. His wife, children and sister is said to possess a large wealth in Panamanian firms. Illham was elected as Prime minister in 2003 and is holding the post up to now. The family of the Prime Minister is leading a glamorous and charmed life.
Nearly all the family members have financial interests in most of the sectors of economy. His wife Mehriban Aliyev belongs to the privileged family of Pashayev. She is the owner of many banks, construction and insurance companies. She is also working as beneficiary, shareholder and director in UF Universe Foundation and leading the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
Leyla Aliyev, the editor of Baku magazines and Arzu Aliyev are the daughters of the Prime Minister. Both of them are significant shareholders in SW Holding. Haidar Aliyev is his son who is also the shareholder in many organizations and has nine mansions in Dubai. All his children own a property of $75 million estimated in 2010. Along with all his family members, his sister Sevil Aliyev is also found to be involved in Panama Papers who was the founder of Space TV and is a London resident now.
9. David Cameron
Prime Minister of United Kingdom, David Cameron, is also a part of Panama papers. His father, Ian Cameron, has many offshore accounts in Panamanian firms. Ian Cameron died in September, 2010 in France. Ian Cameron was basically a stock broker and investor of the Royal family. He was one of the senior partners in brokerage Panmure Gordon following his ancestors. In the year 1982, it was found out that, Ian Cameron was involved in the creation on Panamanian Blairmore Holdings Inc.
In simple words, that was an offshore investment fund added in many offshore accounts in Panamanian firm. The amount of these funds was increased up to $20 million in the year 1988. Until 2006 it was unsure that who was among the sharers of this investment. There was the contribution of many controversial bearer shares in those investment funds.
Later on in the year 2016, the name of Ian Cameron was found to be present in Panama Papers owing to his offshore investment in Panama based legal and business Services Company. On April 7, David Cameron admitted in an interview that he profited from his father’s offshore investment fund and has more than five thousand shares in the Blairmore since 1997.
8. Mohammad Najib Abdul Razak
Mohammad Najib is the Malaysian Prime Minister who has his part in Panama papers through his son’s offshore account. He started working as Prime Minister of the country in 2009 up to now. His son Mohammad Nazzifudin bin Najib has his names in the Panama papers. The man has made his investments in a wide range of businesses in Malaysia including the technology, finance, energy, mass transit, coatings, and paint sectors. He also became the vice president of Olympic Council of Malaysia in 2015.
He was claimed to be involved in Ponzi scheme related to the digital currency in Thailand but he denied all the allegations. His father, the Prime Minister, was also engaged in the illegal transfer of around $700 million in to his own account but he was defended by his son. After the inclusion of his name in Panama papers, he tried to clarify his position by saying that he used PCJ International Venture Limited for international business but no transaction was done and the company was shut down.
7. Nawaz Sharif Convicted in Panama Papers
Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is the current Prime Minister of Pakistan. He has been elected as the Prime Minister for the third time in 2013. It was found out that he also possesses many offshore accounts and wealth in Panamanian firm indirectly by using the names of his children. His three children named as, Mariam Safdar, Hassan Sharif and Hussain Sharif have their investments and shareholdings in a wide range of businesses like Steel Mills, Sugar Mills and Paper Mills.
They also have extensive properties holdings internationally. Hussain Sharif is also running his own business in London for sixteen years up to now. They are considered to be the most powerful and richest families of the country that has endured many allegations of involvement in corruption, tax avoidance, ownership of illegal assets, money laundering and much more. However they have completely denied the allegations every time. After their names were revealed in Panama papers they did not respond however, the Prime Minister tried to clear the position of his children. Mariam Safdar was also considered to be the beneficial owner of two offshore companies.
6. Pavlo Lazarenko
Pavlo Lazarenko is one of the convicted members of Panama leaks. He is the former prime minister of Ukraine and has made his contribution in Panama papers through several offshore accounts. He served the country as Prime Minister in 1996. His name was included in the top ten corrupt politicians. He was housing arrested in USA and also was sent to prison owing to his money laundering and conspiracy in 2004. It was claimed that he stole $200 million from Ukraine economy and was involved in money laundering of $114 million using U.S. banks.
In Panama Papers, he is claimed to be involved in multiple corruption activities and offshore companies since 1998 for which he received three search warrants by British Virgin Islands. The companies included are Metals Russia Corp Ltd., Southeast Asia Metal Limited and Bainfield Company limited along with Bassington Limited in which he was a shareholder since 1990. U.S authorities are seeking $250 million still, which belong to his offshore accounts. His criminal defense lawyer has not responded to any of the claims yet.
5. Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani
Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani is the former Prime Minister of Qatar. His name was also present in Panama papers leaks. He became the Prime Minister in 2007 and he held three high profile positions in the period of six years. He was the Foreign Minister of Qatar for 11 years and also served as the head of Qatar Investment Authority that is the richest sovereign wealth funds in the world. He was the billionaire and was included in the top 100 most influential persons.
His name is revealed in Panama papers as he is the owner of an offshore company in British Virgin Islands and also three additional companies in Bahamas. He also holds shares in Spanish Port of Palma and Mallorca. It was revealed that he manages his $300 million yacht, Al-Mirqab. Later on in 2011, he also acquired four Panamanian companies that were included in Panama Papers. His attorney responded to the allegation by saying that he is not answerable and is bound to professional secrecy.
4. Ali Abu al-Ragheb
Ali Abu al-Ragheb was the former Prime Minister of Jordan who name was included in the list of convicted Prime Ministers of Panama papers. He started his career as a U.S educated engineer in the business world where he was an executive in an engineering company for 20 years. After that he moved to the Parliament. He also got involved in cabinet ministries including trade, industry, mineral resources and energy. He became the Prime Minister in 2000 and worked to boost the economy of the country.
He also attracted foreign investments; however his tenure was cracked down owing to the U.S invasion of Iraq. Following the event, he resigned in 2003, and joined the leading finance and insurance companies of Jordan. In the Panama papers, it was revealed that he owned many offshore companies and was director in British Virgin Islands. This was started in 2003, when he resigned and became the owner of offshore companies like Jaar Investment Ltd. along with his wife. He also owned three Seychelles companies and his children are also the owners of Desert star Investment Capital Ltd. and additional BVI companies. He has not shown any response to the claims yet.
3. Ayad Allawi
Ayad Allawi is the ex Prime minister of Iraq. It has been revealed in the panama papers that he has also benefitted himself by using tax havens. He was elected as the Prime Minister in 2004. He was a secular Shiite who was an activist of Baath Party till 1971 after which he was settled in London where he worked in collaboration with US Central Intelligence Agency as well as with Britain’s M16.
The significant incidents of his life include his opposition of Saddam Hussein, making an opposition party against him and survival in an assassination attempt in 1978 that was claimed to be conducted by Saddam Hussein. After spending few years in London, he came back to Iraq and became the Prime Minister putting an end to Hussein’s rule in 2004. In Panama papers it was claimed that he created many firms in Panama including the I.M.F Holdings Inc. and held his property in London. He was listed as sole holder in 2000 and his property was disclosed in 2013. Another offshore company, Moonlight Estates Limited was also claimed to hold his property in London along with Foxwood Estates.
2. Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson
Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson is the current Prime Minister of Iceland. Not to be surprised but his name is also included in the leaked documents, Panama Papers. He became the Prime Minister in 2013, and was a former journalist who led a campaign in 2008 against bank bailouts after the Icelandic financial crisis. After the successful campaign, he held his place in Progressive Party as its chairman. In 2009, he entered in the parliament and earned his way to become Prime Minister in 2013.
He was the youngest Prime Minister with the age of 38 years. He married to the daughter of the wealthiest Toyota dealers in Iceland, named as Anna Sigurlaug. He and his wife were the owners of a company, Wintris Inc., in British Virgin Islands that has around $4 million in three major Icelandic banks and these banks collapsed in 2008, it was considered that he was a politically exposed person but the internal records clearly showed that the firm did nothing about it. He denied his ownership of offshore company but agreed that he had worked in connections with these companies.
1. Bidzina Ivanishvili
Bidzina Ivanishvili is the former prime minister of Georgia and has his name included in Panama papers. It was revealed that he possess many offshore accounts in Panamanian firm. He served as the Prime Minister in years 2012 to 2013 for only 13 months. He was a billionaire who worked for 20 years in Russian and earned his fortune in banking and metal industries and returned to Georgia in 2003. He is considered to be a philanthropist and a fine art collector.
He led Georgian Dream, a coalition in 2011 and showed his activism in politics after which he won the elections to take his place as Prime Minister but resigned voluntarily after 13 months but stayed as the strong power behind it. He was the owner of Lynden Management Ltd, a company in British Virgin Islands. In Panama Papers, the authorities demanded the complete information of this offshore company, about its ownership and activities. Later on the Prime Minister was represented by a Swiss Law firm that explained, he was willing to be transparent about his offshore companies and that it was proposed by certain banks like Credit Suisse in clients’ interest.