Mossack Fonseca law firm shuts down operations 2 years after Panama Papers

News of the day is that the Mossack Fonseca law firm would shut down operations due to the reputational damage caused by the Panama Papers security breach.

The Panama Papers is a huge trove of strictly confidential documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca that was leaked online on April 3, 2016.

The Panama Leaks were acquired from a confidential resource by the German paper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which discussed them with the International Consortium of Investigative Reporters (ICIJ). The ICIJ after that discussed them with a huge network of worldwide companions, consisting of the Guardian as well as the BBC.

The entire archive of the firm contains more than 11.5 Million files including 2.6 Terabytes of data related the activities of offshore shell companies used by the most powerful people around the world, including 72 current and former heads of state.

Law enforcement worldwide launched investigations into possible tax evasion and money laundering that might have involved their citizens.

“Last month, Panamanian prosecutors raided the offices of Mossack Fonseca, seeking possible links to Brazilian engineering company Odebrecht. The Brazilian construction firm has admitted to bribing officials in Panama and other countries to obtain contracts in the region between 2010 and 2014.reported CNBC.

“Ramon Fonseca, a partner at Mossack Fonseca, denied last month that his firm had a connection to Odebrecht, while accusing Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela of directly receiving money from Odebrecht, Latin America’s largest engineering company.”

News of the day is that the company would shut down operations due to the reputational damage caused by the security breach.

“Reputational deterioration, the media campaign, the financial consequences and irregular actions by some Panamanian authorities have caused irreparable damage, resulting in the total ceasing of public operations at the end of this month,” Mossack Fonseca said in a statement.

The company will maintain a smaller group of employees to address requests from authorities and other public and private groups.

As consequence of the incident, the firm had closed most of its offices abroad, but the security breach has also a severe impact on some illustrious customers of the firm.

The Panama Papers case exposed the offshore activities of hundreds of politicians and public figures around the world, including Vladimir Putin and Iceland’s prime minister David Gunnlaugsson.  Gunnlaugsson was forced to resign after it was revealed his family had offshore accounts.

The former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified for life from office for similar reasons.

Panama Papers

 

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Panama Papers, data breach)


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