The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on Sunday released the “Pandora Papers,” an exposé of the financial secrets and offshore dealings of dozens of heads of state, public officials and politicians from 91 countries and territories.
More than 600 journalists from 150 outlets spent two years investigating nearly 12 million confidential files — a bigger cache of documents than 2016’s Panama Papers. The Pandora Papers reveal how unusual offshore finances and secretive wealth have infiltrated global politics. Some of the people named in the papers are major political leaders in developing or impoverished countries, such as Jordan and Kenya.
“Many of the power players who could help bring an end to the offshore system instead benefit from it — stashing assets in covert companies and trusts while their governments do little to slow a global stream of illicit money that enriches criminals and impoverishes nations,” the ICIJ said in its introduction to the series, which is being published by the Washington Post in the United States and the BBC and The Guardian in the United Kingdom. The names mentioned in the articles are a who’s who of heads of state, billionaires and public officials from all corners of the world. Here are five of the biggest takeaways from the series.
The Panama Papers brought an end to former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s term. Former cricket star Imran Khan staged protests against Sharif and was elected prime minister in 2018 on a platform of equity and anti-corruption. The Washington Post reports the Pandora Papers reveal no offshore accounts from Khan — but they do include people in his inner circle, from one of his ministers to a top donor who has funded his party, according to the ICIJ. Khan responded to the investigation on Twitter Sunday.