The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists will today (Monday) release a “searchable database” with information on more than 200,000 offshore entities, including names of over 200 Pakistanis, part of the Panama Papers investigation.
The database will likely be the largest ever release of secret offshore companies and the people behind them, the ICIJ said. It will go public at 11pm Pakistan time (6pm UCT)
Early in April, the ICIJ and over 100 partner media organisations started releasing data and related stories from the ‘Panama Papers’ which comprise some 11.5 million documents from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, showing how some of the world’s most powerful people took their money offshore.
The documents include information about companies, trusts, foundations and funds incorporated in 21 international tax havens, from Hong Kong to Nevada in the United States over four decades and links to people in more than 200 countries and territories.
The interactive database will also include information on over 100,000 additional companies which were part of the ICIJ’s 2013 Offshore Leaks investigation.
While the database opens up a world that has never been revealed on such a massive scale, the application will not be a “data dump” of original documents – rather it will be a careful release of basic corporate information, a statement on the website said.
While there is a possibility that names of more Pakistanis than the 200 already named, may or may not appear on the database, the ICIJ stated, it “won’t release personal data en masse; the database will not include records of bank accounts and financial transactions, emails and other correspondence, passports and telephone numbers.”
“The selected and limited information is being published in the public interest,” the statement added.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2016.
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