A thorough investigation of 12 million documents uncovered the procedures followed by at least 336 politicians, celebrities, religious leaders, and drug traffickers from 90 countries to hide their immense fortunes and evade taxes.
The information, called “Pandora’s Papers,” was revealed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), and was obtained through the work of 600 journalists from 117 countries, according to its web page on October 3.
The “Pandora Papers” surpasses in the volume of data to each of the previous investigations and is the continuation of the search known in 2016 as the “Panama Papers” scandal that revealed so many other personalities in the world carrying out similar acts.
These operations involve billions of dollars represented in mansions, exclusive beaches, yachts,, and other assets, and although they were traced back to the 1970s, they mostly happened between 1996 and 2020.
For his part, European Parliament lawmaker Sven Giegold said, “The new data leak must be a wake-up call. Global tax evasion fuels global inequality. We need to expand and sharpen the countermeasures now,” according to ABC.
Specifically, accounts in tax havens located in the British Virgin Islands, the Seychelles archipelago off the coast of Africa, Hong Kong, and Belize were reviewed, as were 118 U.S. trusts.
Among the people uncovered this time is Tony Blair, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom between 1997 and 2007, the Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, and the Minister of Finance, Shaukat Fayaz Ahmed Tarin.
In terms of nationality, the most prominent established group comprises Russian nationals. Americans were among the 20 most represented nationalities in the data.
“As for U.S. nationals, ICIJ identified more than 700 companies with beneficial owners connected to the U.S. in the Pandora Papers,” the ICIJ denounced.
It also added: “A large proportion of beneficial owners appearing in the data are from Latin America. More than 90 of the more 330 politicians and public officials in the data are from Latin America. Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela are among the countries with the largest representation of beneficial owners.”
Among the Latin American figures are Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, Ecuador’s Guillermo Lasso and Dominican Luis Abinader. Also, former Colombian presidents César Gaviria and Andrés Pastrana, reported Panampost.
As well as former Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, Honduran President Porfirio Lobo, Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes and Panamanian Presidents Juan Carlos Varela, Ricardo Martinelli and Ernesto Pérez Balladares.
A backlash against President Sebastián Piñera has already happened in Chile, with the writer and member of the Constituent Convention of the Republic of Chile, Jorge Baradit, calling for his dismissal.
Baradit was joined by the former president of the Senate and current presidential candidate of the center-left, Yasna Provoste, who asked for “explanations and transparency” in the case.
In this context, the Piñera administration stated that these facts “were already investigated in depth by the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Courts of Justice during 2017 and the Prosecutor’s Office recommended ending the case due to the absence of crime, adjusting to the law and the lack of participation of President Sebastián Piñera in the aforementioned operation.”