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Friday, 10 November 2017

Recent ICIJ leaks that shook the world

Launched in 1997 by the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in 2017 became a fully independent organization. 
Its members include over 200 journalists from across 70 countries. While its exposures began in 2000 when the ICIJ exposed how the "leading tobacco companies worked with criminal networks to smuggle cigarettes around the world", Geo.Tv reported.
While the ICIJ investigations have exposed misdeeds of war profiteers, climate change, the roles of individuals linked to the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl, illicit trade of Coltan used in the manufacture of phones, medical implants obtained from dead humans and violations of human rights by funnelling money through corrupt authorities; the ICIJ has gained center stage since it started exposing the corrupt practice of tax evasion by the powerful. 
Over the last five years, ICIJ has brought to light tax evasion and avoidance practices through the use of tax havens by individuals, heads of states, corporations and government officials.

Offshore Leaks (2013)

Offshore Leaks (2013)
Offshore Leaks
In 2013, ICIJ brought to light the Offshore Leaks which exposed the internal records from Britain's offshore financial industry. It exposed the identities of holders who held concealed wealth from around the world. The leak exposed the elites and politicians from France, Mongolia, Canada, US, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Iran China, Thailand and former communist states.

Luxembourg Leaks (2014)

Luxembourg Leaks (2014)
Luxembourg Leaks (2014)

In 2014, ICIJ released documents which outlined how major international firms used secret deals from Luxembourg to evade taxes. Often the account holders enjoyed less than one per cent tax on their profits which they diverted to Luxembourg.

Swiss Leaks (2015)

Swiss Leaks (2015)
Swiss Leaks (2015)

The 2015 leaks outlined the assistance given by HSBC bank in Switzerland to politicians and other individuals in hiding their ill-gotten money from their home countries, which enabled them to evade taxes on the acquired wealth. Their clients included former and current politicians from Britain, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Kenya, Romania, India, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Lebanon, Tunisia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Paraguay, Djibouti, Senegal, Philippines and Algeria.

Panama Leaks (2016) 

Panama Papers (2016)
Panama Papers (2016)
 By far the largest leak till date by the ICIJ (in terms of data released), the consortium unloaded approximately 2,600 Gigabytes of files exposing the private financial dealings of individuals and public office holders who were using shell corporations to hide wealth, evade taxes, fraudulent practices and international sanctions. 
The leaks included names and details of the wrongdoings by heads of states and or their family members. They included individuals from Georgia, Ukraine, Iraq, Moldova, Jordan, China, Malaysia, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Britain, Mexico and Spain.

Paradise Papers (2017) 

Paradise Papers (2017)
Paradise Papers (2017)

The latest release by the ICIJ has exposed the financial dealings of the super elite, including corporations. It brings to light 120,000 companies and individuals which were customers of Apple by between 1993-2014. The list of customers includes 30,000 Americans and includes politicians, entertainment superstars to corporations such as Nike and Apple as well as the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

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