Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one.
The Pandora Papers
Recent media partners in Spain of The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists include:
The Pandora Papers reveal the inner workings of a shadow economy that benefits the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of everyone else.
The Pandora Papers is a leak of almost 12 million documents and files exposing the secret wealth and dealings of world leaders, politicians and billionaires. The data was obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in Washington DC which has led one of the the biggest ever global investigations.
More than 600 journalists from 117 countries have looked at the hidden fortunes of some of the most powerful people on the planet.
One of the major things that sets the Pandora Papers apart from other large offshore leaks is how the investigation has exposed secrecy jurisdictions in the United States and the country’s rise as a hub of offshore money.
After blowing the lid on South Dakota’s trust industry, we’ve again teamed up with the Washington Post to delve into Wyoming’s discrete financial sector . The Pandora Papers reveals how global elites have abandoned longstanding offshore centers for secrecy tools offered exclusively in the U.S. state.
Chief among them is the “cowboy cocktail,” a coveted financial arrangement that’s allowed wealthy people from around the world to move their money into the least populated state in America and spend it with a level of anonymity found in few other places. The investigation also takes a look at how becoming a thriving international tax haven hasn’t exactly paid off as planned for the state’s tax revenue.
How is Europol tackling the Pandora Papers?
Catherine De Bolle: The publications are a source for Europol to update and feed our intelligence. We are not looking at it from a tax point of view but from the point of view of the fight against serious and organized crime. We note that criminals see the opportunity in these offshore destinations from the Pandora Papers, because there are few rules and little supervision. This is a parallel underground financial circuit. We have also noticed this in recent operations in which Europol took part.
In July 2020 the encrypted platform EncroChat was dismantled, in March 2021 the encrypted messaging service Sky ECC was taken down, and in June the FBI was able to intercept 27 million messages with its platform Anom – a honeypot for criminals. It is mainly on the basis of information from these three major operations that we find that we have a real problem in the EU. An example: when criminal groups launder money by buying real estate in certain European cities, this leads to undermining – the mixing of the legal upper world with the criminal underworld. And this undermining weakens society, the economy and the rule of law.
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