Oligarchs hide billions in shell companies. Here’s how we stop them

The Panama Papers have helped tax authorities recover over $500m around the world. Property registries could ensure that even more is recovered

According to Navi Pillay, the former UN high commissioner for human rights, ‘The money stolen through corruption every year is enough to feed the world’s hungry 80 times over.’
 According to Navi Pillay, the former UN high commissioner for human rights, ‘The money stolen through corruption every year is enough to feed the world’s hungry 80 times over.’ Photograph: Arnulfo Franco/AP

 

Two years ago we published the Panama Papers after an anonymous source provided 2.6 terabytes of internal data from the dubious Panamanian law firm of Mossack Fonseca. We shared the data with 400 journalists worldwide and together revealed how the wealthy and powerful use shell companies to hide their assets. Such companies are exploited by dictators, drug cartels, mafia clans, fraudsters, weapons dealers and regimes like North Korea and Iran to hide their shady business transactions.

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