International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has compiled a list of 130,000 people who stashed money in offshore accounts. The amount of data exposed in operation Offshore Leaks is 160 times as much as Wikileaks. You can get up to date information on Twitter as it’s being reported using hashtag #offshoreleaks.
The list includes some 4,000 Americans, but exposes a global system of tax evasion and fraud. Journalists from 46 countries worked together to gather 2.5 million leaked documents.
Is it any wonder that governments are going bankrupt, middle class working people are struggling worldwide, while the wealthy continue to thrive? In a perfect world, authorities would seize that money and distribute it to the citizens in the home countries of the individuals and parent companies hiding tax-free money in these shelters. After all, it is money indirectly taken from their pockets.
The Washington Post is expected to be publishing more information about the offshore leaks, but has yet to do so.
The list of wealthy individuals using secret Cayman Island accounts to avoid paying taxes is not limited to the last name Romney. Different names, different location; the British Virgin Islands is the hiding place. Tax evaders in the documentation include Germany’s Gunter Sachs, Russia’s Mikhail Fridman, Philippines’ governor Imee Marcos, Spain’s famous art collector Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, and American music composer Denise Rich. There are many companies on the list too, including some from Greece.
This could be the largest group effort in history working together to expose corruption by government officials and big business. It won’t be surprising to find a few more familiar names to add to the list as all the documentation is researched and more facts exposed. Stay tuned.
Image Source: AP/Spiegel Online International