The biggest leak in modern times, now known as the Panama Papers which account for 11 million documents from secretive Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca has been revealed, making for a staggeringly impactful hack.
The leak has revealed how the law firm Mossack Fonseca, one of the largest offshore firms in the world, routinely helped clients who include some of the world’s leaders, politicians, athletes and corporations.
The documents were shared by a whistleblower who made it available to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung. The publication has published the content in English, which can be found here.
The cache contains a total of 2.6 terabytes (!) of data that is related to some of the wealthiest, most powerful people in the world.
The trove consists of nearly 11.5 million files and includes emails, PDFs and text files.
All along, Mossack Fonseca has always maintained that it has operated “beyond reproach” for nearly 30 years and has never been charged before with any criminal activity or wrongdoing.
The leak, dwarves every other known leak such as that of WikiLeaks from 2010 or files belonging to the NSA in 2013.
In response to the hack, Ramon Fonseca, one of the founders of the Panamanian law firm told the AFP that the hack was “crime” and described it as a “limited hack.”
“This is a crime, a felony. Privacy is a fundamental right that is being eroded more and more in the modern world.,” he stated. “Each person has a right to privacy, whether they are a king of a begger.”
Now, governments and institutions around the world, along with institutions have now vowed to carry out investigations after the data breach.
In England, the HM Revenue and Customs has confirmed that it will investigate any instances of tax avoidance and money laundering with the revelations.
Speaking to the BBC, HMRC compliance and enforcement director general, Jennie Grainger stated:
MRC can confirm that we have already received a great deal of information on offshore companies, including in Panama, from a wide range of sources, which is currently the subject of an intensive investigation.
“Our message is clear: there are no safe havens for tax evaders and no-one should be in any doubt that the days of hiding money offshore are gone.
LIFARS will report on the data breach further when the IRS and coverage of the leak hits closer to home, as America wakes up to the biggest story of the year yet.
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