Journalists and dozens of media all over the planet simultaneously released materials about owners of large offshore businesses. The investigation is based on the so-called Panama Archive, the selection of documents belonging to Mossack Fonseca, Panama-based low-profile company.
About a hundred of powerful politicians and celebrities are on Mossack Fonseca’s database, which contains about 11 million materials and 2.6 terabytes of digital data. Initially, the documents came across reporters of Süddeutsche Zeitung, which passed them to the ICIJ, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. More than a hundred media and 400 reporters were involved in the work on the Panama Archive.
The documents reveal the activities of the company from 1977 till December 2015; they unfold stories about offshore mechanisms of concealing billions of dollars, involving former and current heads of states, and other famous political players and celebrities. Among them are President Petro Poroshenko, ex-Prime Ministers Pavlo Lazarenko and Yulia Tymoshenko and Mohammad Zahoor, famous Ukraine-based British businessman who owns the Kyiv Post newspaper and is believed to be involved in the gas corruption of the 1990s in Ukraine. The list also includes Ukrainian company United Energy Systems of Ukraine. In general, the database of Mossack Fonseca includes 20 Ukrainians connected with offshore business.
“Since the investigation of offshore cases in Ukraine, Prosecutor General’s Office collected almost 11 thousand volumes with materials, which included hundreds of financial and bank documents, experts’ reports, conclusions of tax audits et cetera. However, due to shifts in political environment in the country, the cases were reopened and closed again many times. For the last time, the cases were closed in February 2014.
The full list of offshore companies and names of individuals connected with them is to be released in early May. According to Associated Press, President of Panama Juan Carlos Varela already claimed his government “will cooperate "vigorously" with any judicial investigation arising from the leak of a vast trove of information on the offshore financial dealings of the world's rich and famous”.