Tuesday, April 5, 2016

FAQs on Panama Papers

1. What are the 'Panama Papers'?
The 'Panama Papers' are a set of confidential documents leaked from one of the biggest law firms of Panama - 'Mossack Fonseca'. The Panama Papers provide information about thousands of offshore entities, identities of their shareholders and directors. It listed various world leaders, public officials, billionaires, celebrities, sports stars and politicians.
2. How much data has been leaked and by whom?
a)  The leaked data consists of 11.5 Million Documents in around 2,600 GB taken from the Mossack Fonseca's internal database by one of its employees.
b)  These documents were obtained by Sueddeutsche Zeitung, a daily newspaper headquartered in Munich, Germany. Sueddeutsche shared the Panama Papers with the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and other news outlets, including the BBC, the Guardian and the Indian Express.
c)  Sueddeutsche mentioned that an employee at the law firm had leaked the data, telling the newspaper that he had risked his life in doing so.

3. What does the Panama Papers reveal?
a)  The Panama Papers contain information on 2.15 lakhs offshore entities connected to people from more than 200 countries.
b)  The leaked data covers nearly 40 years period from 1977 through the end of 2015.
c)  It reveals the database of individuals who have set-up offshore entities through the Panama law firm.
d)  These individuals are either holding direct ownership or indirect ownership (beneficial ownership) in the offshore entities.
e)  Some of the Indians have also floated offshore entities at a time when foreign exchanges laws of India did not allow them to do so.
4. What is the authenticity of documents leaked?
Ramon Fonseca, one of the co-founder of the Mossack Fonseca, confirmed the authenticity of the papers being used in articles published by more than 100 news organizations around the world. He told to one of the Panama's news channel that the documents are real and were obtained illegally through a hacking method.
5. Who is 'Mossack Fonseca' and what is its role in this entire controversy?
a)  Mossack Fonseca & Co. is a law firm and corporate service provider based in Panama with more than 40 offices worldwide.
b)  It specializes in commercial law, trust services, investor advisory and international structures.
c)  It provides services like incorporating companies in offshore jurisdictions, wealth management, private banking, accounting services, etc.
d)  This law firm is one of the seven firms that collectively represent more than half of the companies incorporated in Panama.
e)  It also provides assistance in transferring funds, buying property, setting-up trusts or signing agreements with entities.

f)  Mossack Fonseca plays a crucial role in incorporating entities in tax havens. It had incorporated 14,658 active companies in Panama till August, 2013 out of which 4,646 companies were incorporated without providing any information about their shareholders.

Click here to Know More at http://bit.ly/faqsonpanamapapers

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