Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The Panama Papers: Who leaked the biggest leak in history?

Hero or Whistleblower?
Patriot or Traitor?

Imagine working a 40 hour, sometimes even a 60 hour week. You’re drained…. mentally and physically, then at the end of the month, you see that your paycheck is taxed even more for the overtime you put in or the bonus you’ve been given. As a hard working citizen, we all feel the right to earn more than what we’ve been getting yet we still have hope that all this tax we pay is going towards making our environment a better place.



Come a crisp April 2016 morning, you wake up to find your phone abuzz with notifications for something called The Panama Papers. Upon reading, you’re outraged. “I have to pay taxes and these wealthy bastards haven’t?”

I can understand that outrage. It’s only natural to feel slighted. We slave and slave away, just to earn that middle-class figure only to have it taxed and then there are people out there who earn boat loads of money yet somehow find a way Not to pay taxes. How is that fair?

The Panama papers is the largest data leak in history, dwarfing the data released by the Wikileaks organization in 2010. For context, if the amount of data released by Wikileaks was equivalent to the population of San Francisco, the amount of data released in the Panama Papers is the equivalent to that of India! 11.5 million Documents, 2.6 TB in total. That’s two thousand, six hundred gigabytes! My president can’t even pronounce that! Seriously just Google: “Zuma can't count”

The most astounding part is that the documents were actually made available in early 2015! For a whole year, a consortium of journalists kept this information under wraps. And who said there was no journalistic credibility left in the world? Oh right I was one of them. My bad.
The consortium having been researching the hell out of these documents and Still, have ways to go.
Here is a categorized list of all the current names released from the Panama papers records.
The biggest fall-out since the release has been Icelandic Prime Minister, Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson stepping down due to the mounting protest from the people. Booyah! You sow what you reap buddy. He denies that his stepping down had nothing to do with his conscience but we all know the truth.
Furthermore, Africa loses $50 billion a year due to tax evasion and other illicit practices and its 50-year losses top a trillion dollars.

But I’m not here to talk about what the Panama Papers are now about the recent findings. Those can all be found here and there and everywhere, just hashtag #panamapapers
P.s xxxxx Let’s be honest here, it’s no surprise to see who was listed, it’s the same politicians and professionals we’ve suspected for years. I suppose Jackie Chan would be the greatest surprise. Although let me point out that not every person listed is involved in illegal activity. Least of all a tax haven. The company did do some legal activity (only some). What I really would have liked to have seen, is the Pope or the Dalai Lama! Now that would be a brilliant twist. Hey if you literally saw what priests and religious figures get paid, you would question them too.

So Who leaked the biggest leak in history?
Here’s the best, best part, nobody knows!! As with the public polls of Edward Snowden, many should be grateful to this “John Doe” whistleblower for finally providing more than tangible proof that the rich and powerful are avoiding taxes, laundering money and in some cases supporting horrible acts of war.
Mossack Fonseca, the company at the heart of all of this, claims to be above reproach (way to dig your own grave). They say that they’re the victim of a hack to their email servers. Pffttt. Way to try and save face #MOSSUCK
I don’t buy that, it’s the easy way out. Do you?

Could this John Doe actually be a Jane Doe or could it be a group of John and Jane Does? Who knows?
Why did he/she choose the German newspaper?

All I know is that this makes for brilliant creative writing and I’m going to get right to that while this hype is hot! What did he/she/they have to go through to get this data leaked to the world? What obstacles did they face? Was it happenstance or a mission that lead him/her/them to the documents? Was he/she/they former employees of #MOSSUCK Fonseca? Or maybe former clients? So many great questions to fictionally answer.

Well wherever he/she/they are, we owe them a great deal for thanks for being so brave. I mean Vladimir Putin is no man to be trifled with nor are the other powerful people the Panama Papers list. They could be on the run for the rest or their natural born lives. What fun!
This just goes to show, NO ONE is above reproach and EVERY ONE has something to hide, even something as little as “Who ate my double-creamed and frosted sundae?!”

I’m definitely writing a short story on this. Will update this post and create a new one as soon as it’s finished. If you would like to join in, let’s connect J
What are your thoughts on all of this drama? Share your thoughts with me, all thoughts are welcome.

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be honored if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook/Tumblr. Thank you!
Update 2016/04/19*
This Post was Shared/Featured in the French Online Press: http://panamapapers.press/

So honored by this!
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Update 2016/04/20* Irvin Joel of the Tracking Courier Website, is a regular follower of this blog. Upon reading this post, he became inspired to research more on the Panama Papers news. Using his unique skills, he has created an impressively brilliant InfoGraphic displaying the Panama Papers news in One picture.
The Tracking Courier Website is a great website for tracking your shipment, package or consignment from multiple international courier services for free.

So Honored by this!
By Irvin Joel
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Update 2016/05/12*
The beloved Emma Watson has been named in the leaked documents detailing individuals with offshore companies and accounts!

But the Harry Potter actress says she only set up a company in the British Virgin Islands to protect personal details about herself. In a statement to the Spectator, her representatives wrote:
  • "Emma (like many high-profile individuals) set up an offshore company for the sole purpose of protecting her anonymity and safety. U.K. companies are required to publicly publish details of their shareholders and therefore do not give her the necessary anonymity required to protect her personal safety, which has been jeopardised in the past owing to such information being publicly available."
Update 2016/12/01*Whistle* can you believe we're in December already? Feels like only yesterday I wrote this post.
Over the past eight months, governments have reported using Panama Papers to help recoup or seize tens of millions of dollars in unpaid taxes or other assets, including more than $80 million in Colombia, $1 million in Slovenia and 375 pounds of silver bullion in Australia. Billions more are being traced for potential tax evasion.

What do you feel? Guilty or not Guilty?
~Be Kind to One Another~ Ellen Degeneres

48 comments:

  1. I'd love to think this is the turning point for global tax transparency, and yet the cynic in me thinks it'll soon be forgotten and little will change. All it'll take is another scandal or crisis and our attention will be diverted elsewhere, never to return.

    I hope I'm proven wrong, mind.

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  2. It seems like there is always some sort of a scandal. We never end up finding out the truth behind them either.

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  3. There seems to always been something going on somewhere - I do wonder how much is truth and how much has been made up.

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  4. It is ironic that the wealthy ones did not pay taxes. They are they ones that could, maybe that is how they got rich.

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  5. I'm not sure that the real truth will ever be revealed.

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  6. I think the person who made the leak is a hero. This crap of the wealthy not paying taxes is a big part of why the system doesn't work and needs to be overhauled.

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  7. interesting article,thanks for sharing with everyone.

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  8. Perspective - one's state of mind can so easily influence how they see something

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  9. So frustrating. The thing is that tax agencies often know that wealthy companies and powerful people are avoiding taxes and just turn a blind eye.

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  10. It's amazing how many people are being exposed by this. I was definitely surprised to see Jackie Chan, just because it seems random.

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  11. The question as to who would leak it would probably be someone who is tired of what they're experiencing or someone who couldn't take what he's seeing anymore. It's a good wake up call to those up there playing with people's hard earned money. Every government is like that, apparently.

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  12. It's amazing to me how ambivalent people can become. I guess that is partly how people with power and influence can abuse and misuse it seemingly so easily. No one questions there actions or intentions often until after the fact.

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  13. It's funny how I can relate with everything about taxes, who pays and who doesn't. Back home, there's always a group of Doe's who will eventually get nominated for the best actors award.

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  14. Oh, the rich should be the ones paying the taxes. It's frustrating, isn't it?

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  15. There seems to always be something going on. Too bad we cant all pick and choose what we pay and when.

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  16. It is so frustrating when you know the government is aware of the rich not paying their taxes and they just turn a blind eye.

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  17. I don't understand half the things going on with the government. Some things are just unfair. Everyone needs to be paying taxes..simple as that.

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  18. We will probably never know for sure what happened. Something is corrupt for it to happen.

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  19. We may never know......but we at least have to try to get to the bottom of this.

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  20. Brilliant article. I have seen a document about the author of Wikileaks in 80's about three days ago and I understand why this John Doe avoids publicity - if Wikileaks Man was pushed by USA government then this John Doe... well how many people would try to push him/her/them back?

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  21. Nothing is shocking here...so I just read, drop the mike and move along. It is not going to change. The middle income earner will always be the one to suffer...sigh

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  22. That is absolutely ridiculous! I would think that the wealthy would be charged more tax?

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  23. There seems to always be something! I wish we could choose when and how we pay taxes!

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  24. Shocking ! But glad the leak happened and the culprits have been exposed.Just wish the people had more power to ask Ministers to step down.

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  25. Thoroughly enjoyed this entry Enricoh! Hope there's going to be a follow up entry a part 2 .. maybe 3? :-)

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  26. I have heard of the Panama Papers but never really knew what it was until this post. Thanks. I love reading educational posts like this. I wish there was one like this here in the Philippines. I'm sure we'd have the same outrage.

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  27. This issue makes me so sad and angry...there is always corruption...

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  28. Interesting article. Thanks for sharing! It's always good to be aware of what's going on.

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  29. It all sounds very complicated. I guess no one will ever know what happened!

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  30. To be honest I'm so out of touch with the real world that I had never heard of Panama Papers. I'm off to read about them now. Thank-you for enlightening me.

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  31. I had heard about the Panama Papers but didn't really know much about them... it's so complex so I'm glad to be a little better informed now

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  32. I wish more people knew the details about the Panama Papers. I actually think the diagram you included is super helpful! I just hate that it doesn't seem to matter what people expose because people just assume there's corruption and therefore it's normalized... but I wish we'd stop settling for mediocre, corrupt figureheads.

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  33. Well I am sure about this much. There are two sides to any given story. The truth is somewhere in the middle. I enjoyed this thought provoking read.

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  34. This is nuts. I think the wealthy should be paying more taxes since they have more.

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  35. Yup when it comes to large amounts of money or valuable info leakibg there will always be misteries. Still want to know who leaked it.

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  36. Yup when it comes to large amounts of money or valuable info leakibg there will always be misteries. Still want to know who leaked it.

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  37. It's so annoying because we never hear the whole truth we hear what they want us to hear. I don't even watch the news anymore because I am a huge believe that we create the reality we want! This was a very though provoking article def enjoyed it! ty

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  38. It's crazy to know that many journalists kept this quiet. That's why it's difficult to trust even MSM.

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  39. After reading this, I'm so confused about the Panama Papers. Thanks for sharing this.. Now I must be aware on what is happening in the outside world.. Lol.

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  40. I think there are only a handful of real honest people in government. I work my butt off and get so frustrated looking at my paycheck with huge deductions for taxes and the like. I hope the future generation would be spared from this kind of abuse from people in power.

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  41. Sigh... Anywhere around the world still doing illegal just for them to be rich. They are very talented..LOl.

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  42. Jackie Chan, and Hermione. Tell me it ain't so. World keeps going and things always seem to stay the same. Welp.

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  43. This doesn't surprise me in the least. But Karma always comes back to bite you in the rear when you're doing something wrong. But in the end we really never get the entire story, even from the news.

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  44. There is and will always be secrets to be uncovered. Conspiracy and other theories abound. And then there is the Truth. Thanks for sharing such an insightful post.

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  45. interesting reading I have to say that

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  46. It's interesting, the events that transpired. It's a huge scandal and it's definitely hard to cover up something like this!

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  47. Interesting thoughts. All I have to say is hmmmmm

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