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Panama Papers: The Basics

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The website of the Mossack Fonseca law firm is pictured through a large format lens in Bad Honnef, Germany, April 4, 2016.

The website of the Mossack Fonseca law firm is pictured through a large format lens in Bad Honnef, Germany, April 4, 2016.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, working with leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm, has published some of its findings into the offshore financial dealings of the rich and famous, and politically connected, as well as the leaders of some countries.

Leak: An anonymous source leaded 11.5 million records, accounting for 2.6 terabytes of data, from the Panamanian law firm of Mossack Fonseca dating from 1977 to December 2015. It is being called the largest leak in offshore history.

Data: Contains details on more than 214,000 offshore entities connected to people in more than 200 countries and territories.

Who: Owners of offshore companies include 140 politicians, including 12 current and former political leaders; billionaires; sports stars; drug smugglers, and mafia members; also at least 33 people and companies blacklisted by U.S. government because of evidence of their involvement in wrongdoing, such as doing business with Mexican drug lords or with rogue nations such as North Korea and Iran.

Putin connection: About $2 billion in transactions were secretly shuffled through banks and shadow companies by associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Banks: More than 500 banks, their subsidiaries and their branches – including HSBC, UBS and Société Générale – created more than 15,000 offshore companies for their customers through Mossack Fonseca.

Source: International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

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