Panama Bombshell Spells Demise of Shadow Finance, and Privacy

Leaked legal files Mossack Fonseca in Panama have set off a global storm

by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

The secret world of offshore banks and money-laundering has been under the microscope ever since the financial crisis. Now it is the turn of lawyers, registrars, and the hidden network of facilitators.

The treasure trove of 11.5m documents leaked – or more precisely stolen – from the Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca lifts the lid on the extraordinary practices of the global elites, and on the alleged services of off-shore legal cabinets for terrorist organisations, drug cartels, sanctions busting, and front companies of all kinds.

The files on 213,000 firms first slipped to the Suddeutsche Zeitung and then shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) is the biggest data leak in history. It will have long-lasting ramifications.

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