The Pandora Papers Leak, Opening the 'Pandora's Box'
Labelled as ‘The Pandora Papers,’ the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists(ICIJ) along with its massive network of 150+ media organization across the world conducted the secret investigative reporting and published its finding recently. Over 600 journalists from 117 countries took part in this secretive exercise. In turn, they obtained 12 million leaked files from 14 different sources. It identifies 956 companies in offshore havens tied to 336 high-level politicians and public officials, including country leaders, cabinet ministers, ambassadors and others. More than two-thirds of those companies were set up in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), a jurisdiction long known as a key point in the ‘axis of evil’. With this leak, the ICIJ literally opened the ‘Pandora’s Box.’ Some of the high-profile names include the Azerbhaijan’s Ruling Aliyev family (who owns several prime properties in and around London) to India’s Cricket Super Star Sachin Tendulkar (whose lawyer vehemently denied and issued a statement that ‘Sachin’s investments are lawful one).
Alongside Sachin, Anil Ambani, we can find nearly 300 Indian names in this massive report. This is a shocking to the public. We, the people have been witnessing how the super riches are stashing away their ill-gotten wealth in several safe havens bypassing the law and regulatory mechanism of their respective countries. The ruling class of Eastern Europe to Latin America, Remotest part of Africa to Jordan – we can find the high-profile names in this document.
According to the ICIJ, “An 11-year-old boy from Azerbaijan who owned nearly $49 million of prime commercial real estate in London. A Czech prime minister who loaned himself 15 million euros to buy a French chateau. The unofficial wife of a Kazakh president who received a mysterious $30 million payment. A Serbian politician who swore he didn’t own 24 seaside apartments, but really did.” If we go through the troves of this leak, we can find unbelievable statements like this.
A whole bunch of corrupt bankers, notorious lawyers, fraudulent accountants and scandalous registration firms – functioned as axis of evil to facilitated these high-profile fraudsters to stash their wealth in the Caribbean islands to the commercial hubs of London and Dubai.
As a media entity, which is committed to stand for truth at all cost, we applaud the joint operation of ICIJ and appreciate the media entities that participated in this truth-seeking mission.
We hope, the concerned authorities will conduct an appropriate inquiry in each country to uphold the justice. Otherwise, the publishing of ‘The Pandora Papers’ will become one more pointless exercise.