On 9th May 2016 at 2.00pm EDT the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) will publish a selective searchable database at https://offshoreleaks.icij.org based on the Panama Papers. It will contain data on 200,000 plus offshore entities including trusts, companies, foundations and funds incorporated in over 20 “tax havens” (including Nevada USA) linked to people in over 200 countries and territories.
Interestingly and importantly the database will also include information about circa 100,000 entities that was uncovered in the 2013 ICIJ Offshore Leaks investigation.
However, the ICIJ said the release of information won’t be a “data dump” of all the data in the Panama Papers. “ICIJ 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 …”
Furthermore, the ICIJ, other media outlets and investigators (including the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung which initially received the Panama Papers) will continue their ongoing investigations and publish anything of genuine interest to the world at large. The USA is supportive of these initiatives and more besides. Barack Obama described tax avoidance as a “huge problem” and commented that “a lot of it is legal, but that’s exactly the problem. It’s not that they’re breaking the laws, it’s that the laws are so poorly designed.”
This article was first published on 27th April 2016.