This interactive produced by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) explores the stories behind the use of offshore companies of politicians and their relatives and associates — more than 100 in all. Among them are 12 current or former country leaders and more than 30 other politicians and public officials with direct connections to structures in tax havens. Their names appeared inside a cache of 11.5 million leaked files from Panama's Mossack Fonseca, one of the biggest offshore service providers. ICIJ and Süddeutsche Zeitung led a global investigation to unveil their secrets, publishing the first stories from "The Panama Papers" on April 3, 2016.
ICIJ sifted through thousands of emails, documents and images to find names that were in the public interest. The year-long investigation unveiled connections to companies in many different tax havens, their uses and their real owners, whose identities were sometimes hidden behind layers of secrecy. The investigation found more than 140 politicians and public officials connected to 55 countries. The names displayed in this interactive are a selection of the most relevant cases. All of them include political figures or people close enough to political figures that they should have triggered extra scrutiny. There are legitimate uses for offshore companies, and we do not intend to suggest or imply that any individuals or entities included in the interactive were in violation of the law.
The production of the profiles was complex and took several months. We combined a deep exploration of the Mossack Fonseca documents with research in worldwide public records such as company records, property records and assets declarations, among others. Purchasing real estate and yachts, holding bank accounts and keeping personal finances private were among the most common uses given for offshore companies. ICIJ reached out to all those in the interactive to give them a chance to comment. The answers we received are included in the profiles.
Mossack Fonseca told ICIJ that it conducts periodic follow-ups in the case of politically-exposed figures to assure that no negative results are found. The company said that for 40 years it has operated beyond reproach in its home country and in other jurisdictions where it has operations. "Our firm has never been accused or charged in connection with criminal wrongdoing", said a Mossack Fonseca public relations officer.
The Power Players is published in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and German. ICIJ media partners been allowed to select profiles they believe are of interest to their audiences which may result in similar interactives with fewer profiles. The information in the interactive is current as of April 3, 2016 and the offshore data up to December 2015. ICIJ will release the full list of companies and people in the Panama Paper files in early May.
There are legitimate uses for offshore companies, foundations and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities included in the ICIJ Power Players interactive application have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly. If you find an error in the database please get in touch with us: