By Darya Khan
Soon after the Panama report was leaked, the world media was afire with reports surrounding the largest ever money scandal. Huge data excavation amounting to 2.6 terabytes of information have unveiled dirty deals, money trails, and political shenanigans perpetrated by world leaders, politicians and celebrities. As a direct result of this scandal, the Iceland Prime Minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson was forced to step down when more than 22,000 protestors took to the street. Though this report helps to bring to light the sheer scale of criminality committed all across the globe, it is not exactly new.
Revelations in the report are quite interesting. The report discusses how mega-rich people and government officials – their family and friends – have embraced the use of offshore companies to stash money and evade taxes.
China, Azerbaijan, Russia, Pakistan, Canada, Thailand and other countries are particularly discussed in the report. To further complicate the matters, world’s top banks – including Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, and UBS – have aggressively provided services to secrecy-cloaked companies.
As a matter of fact, a part of the ‘Panama report’ was leaked earlier on the ICIJ website, dated April 3, 2013, released to the media on April 4, exactly 3 years to the same date. But, no worthwhile was taken against tax evaders worldwide. All revelations went into oblivion.
It seems that the main targets are not offshore companies which have direct links to premier banks such as Citibank, HSBC, UBS etc. But rather, the potential targets are oligarchs, government officials and world leaders which are disliked by world powers.
Offshore leaks are a planned operation with a global agenda. It will tickle your fancy that leading media companies of different countries – almost simultaneously – issued sensational news claiming that a so-called organization the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ) had a rich database of offshore companies which came into existence 30 years ago.
Out of this huge database, there are several curious questions that the worldwide mainstream media outlets has yet to adequately explain.
Everyone is asking a simple question: What are the goals of offshore revelations?
Even though no official goal has been referred to by the ICIJ, there is a battle with outlandish companies that are assumed to be a black hole in the economy, an unforgivable dent in socio-economic development of various countries.
It is hard to gainsay that offshore businesses have gone too far. Most recent statistics reveal that valuations of the assets hidden under the cover of offshore companies are beyond staggering… in fact double the global GDP!!!
There are various theories behind the true motive of these offshore revelations.
One theory suggests that operation’s true goal is not to blitz a particular company but to stabilize world economy as a whole and create political chaos and mayhem in certain countries.
Of course, we can judge the aims of the offshore leaks hypothetically. The most important organization ICIJ is itself begging to be asked the same question. None of us knows much about this organization. All that we know is that it was established in 1997 with headquarters in Washington and it employs the services of 160 journalists from 60 countries. ICIJ is the project of a large non-profit organization called Center for Public Integrity (CPI) that is sponsored by Knight Foundation and Ford Foundation.
It does push one to think that the offshore leaks really have some ‘ulterior motives’ on a global scale.
Darya Khan tweets @DPahore
About the author: Nawaz to address nation on Panama leaks
He is former Youth Parliamentarian at PILDAT and currently heads an NGO, Civilized Citizen Society. He is currently teaching English and Current Affairs at various educational institutes.