Umm Muhammed Umar
Data obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, in Washington DC, which has been working with more than 114 media organizations on its biggest ever investigation, has resulted in 12 million documents revealing tax avoidance and, in some cases, money laundering, by some of the world’s rich and powerful. More than 600 journalists in 117 countries have been trawling through the files from 14 sources for months, and what they have found was this week published. The co-host of the ‘Kremlin Files’, Monique Kamera, spoke to Radio Islam about the Pandora Papers.
Kamera said that International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, was a small but very important consortium behind the Panama Papers. She said that the consortium had discovered that there were 14 companies from across the world that were moving money through shell companies. The shell companies had been established in anywhere, from Switzerland to Singapore, Cyprus to Belize, and the British Virgin Islands, among other places. A total of 29 000 official accounts emerged. Of those exposed, 130 people had already been listed as billionaires on the Forbes list. Kamera said that what was really disturbing was that 330 public officials had been involved, in 90 countries, as well as all the enablers, such as the accountants, that know how to set up shell companies, agents, bankers, lawyers, and so on. The enablers move money from one company to the other. They set up a shell company, which, as its name indicates, means there’s nothing in it. The shell company does nothing, except acquire assets from one company to sell to another company. Kamera says a chain is then created. She said, “And if they’re going to these great lengths of opening all these companies in tax havens, they’re going to all these extreme lengths of hiding where they get their money, how they got their money and where it’s going, then there’s something fishy there.” She said that the people exposed have chains of, for example, 100 or more companies.
Regarding how much money was involved, Kamera said that she had seen estimates of anywhere between 5 and 30 trillion Dollars. She said it was a parallel financial world that impacted the world were living in, as money was not going into state coffers and there was corruption involved. She added that in the developing world its essential that there be funds available in the state coffers, but the people named in the Pandora Papers have removed it.