Panama Papers source explains intentions behind Mossack Fonseca data leak – Editor
The following material was extracted from an ABC (Australia) News report, written by Elise Worthington and the International Consortium of Investigative
The secretive source behind the Panama Papers, known as “John Doe”, has leaked more than 11 million documents – the largest leak of confidential data ever analysed by journalists. He has released a detailed manifesto explaining why he decided to blow the whistle, and the key points are:
- He claims to have never worked for a government or intelligence agency
- He is willing to work with law enforcement
- He thinks Mossack Fonseca should pay for its “crimes”
- He describes the papers as a “glaring symptom of society’s diseased, decaying moral fabric”
“In the end, thousands of prosecutions could stem from the Panama Papers, if only law enforcement could access and evaluate the actual documents,” he said in a four-page statement shared with (ICIJ).
Hundreds of investigative reporters from news organisations around the world, including the ABC’s Four Corners program, the BBC and the Guardian, worked in secret with the ICIJ for months analysing the unprecedented leak of 2.6 terabytes of internal data dating back to the 1970s, revealing the inner workings of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. These docu- ments, including internal emails, contracts, bank records and property deeds, have revealed that the firm had set up more than 200,000 shell companies, foundations and trusts in tax havens around the world.
The report emphasised John Doe’s claim that while shell companies are not illegal by definition, they are often associated with the crime of tax evasion, and that the Panama Papers reveal “they are used to carry out a wide array of serious crimes that go beyond evading taxes.”
In the statement, the source said he was encouraged that a global debate about tax reform had started, but authorities’ lack of action was telling: “For 50 years, executive, legislative, and judicial branches around the globe have utterly failed to address the metastasizing tax havens spotting the Earth’s surface,” he said.
“I decided to expose Mossack Fonseca because I thought its founders, employees and clients should have to answer for their roles in these crimes, only some of which have come to light thus far. It will take years, possibly decades, for the full extent of the firm’s sordid acts to become known.”
The Australian Tax Office has revealed it is in possession of some of this data, and is investigating more than 800 Australians named in the leak.
Source: ABC News, 7 May 2016 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-07/panama-papers-source-breaks-his-silence/7391036