Billions of dollars secretly diverted to tax havens, far from all judicial controls. A scandal that concerns the elite of world society: heads of state, financiers, CEOs, celebrities, and sportsmen. Not even Wikileaks revelations managed to provoke such an earthquake. Panama Papers, millions of documents from an international law firm specialized in tax havens that casts a shadow of suspicion on fortunes that apparently can be traced back to Vladimir Putin’s entourage and that of his Ukrainian archenemy Petro Poroshhenko; to the family of the Chinese leader Xi Jinping and that of the Saudi king, to David Cameron’s late father, but also to Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, to Italian banks, to prime ministers and their relatives, to criminals, celebrities and football players such as Leo Messi , to intelligence officials, and to several celebrities.
These revelations popped out as an endless archive of legal documents known as Panama Papers which leaked from a legal studio, Mossack Fonseca, based in the Central American country on the canal is not very well known, but its offices are spread across the 5 continents from Miami, Hong Kong, to Zurich, to 42 other locations. Documents reached the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and from there, it was shared with over 300 investigative reporters from different international media including the British Guardian and the BBC. The opening of The Guardian online edition focuses only Putin, who has been targeted by Washington and London for a long time, against the background of the geopolitical struggle taking place between Moscow and the West.
The Russian leader is considered to be indirectly involved through the figure of Serghei Roldugin: a musician identified as one of his best friends and the godfather of one of his daughters, who – or at least whose name – appears as the terminal of an illicit transfer of two billion dollars from Rossia Bank (a credit institution led by Yuri Kovalciuk, which according to the United States is a kind of Kremlin’s banker) heading to Cyprus, then to the paradise on the British Virgin Islands. A spokesman for the Kremlin has immediately dismissed these suspects as political manipulation, ensuring that Moscow has the means to defend Putin’s reputation in court.
11 million documents analyzed by journalists from 76 countries: in fact the largest leak or leaks in the history of finance and politics, even more important than Wikileaks in 2010 and the American NSA wiretaps revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013. Papers in which appear the names of at least 140 politicians, celebrities, entrepreneurs and sportsmen, as well as 12 political leaders including kings, presidents, and prime ministers. 307 reporters from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, who had been working for months on these papers, widen the circle of suspects to people in the country they belong to: thus, the Italian Espresso evokes Montezemolo, the entrepreneur Giuseppe Donaldo Nicosia, a fugitive involved in an investigation for fraud with Marcello Dell’Utri, the former Formula 1 driver Jarno Trulli as well as Ubi and Unicredit; whereas Haaretz cites a number of the richest and most influential businessmen of Israel.
There are also entire societies that, according to Panama Papers, refer directly to the Heads of Government of Iceland and Pakistan. In the meantime, surface huge sums of money and luxury goods (including fabulous yachts), which have been allegedly subtracted to tax authorities by Salman king of Saudi Arabia, the King of Morocco Mohammed VI, by the sons of the president of Azerbaijan, and by the pro-Western Ukrainian President Poroshenko. As well as by the relatives of Xi Jinping: the Beijing leaders who has transformed fight against corruption into his slogan. More money can be traced down to 33 abbreviations and individuals blacklisted in the US for alleged connections with Mexican drug lords, with organizations defined as terrorist, such as Hezbollah Lebanese Shiites, and with countries such as North Korea or Iran. That is not the end yet. Suspect does not spare the world of billionaire sports and entertainment. Thus, pop out the name of the champion Lionel Messi, the flag of Argentine football and of Barcelona football team, or the Chinese actor Jackie Chan.
Yet, South American sports leaders already appeared in the Blatter scandal: former vice president of world football Eugenio Figueredo and his son Hugo, as well as the Uruguayan Juan Pedro Damiani, from FIFA’s ethics committee. A list of rich, powerful, and famous people who – from the mysteries of Panama situated between two oceans – will probably be able to provoke ‘tsunamis’.