ICIJ · The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

The Panama Papers Reading List

Introduction People Data Game

Panama Papers Wins Pulitzer Prize

The honor is a testament to the enterprise and teamwork of our staff and our partners here in the U.S. and around the world, ICIJ's director says.

Awards and recognition

The Panama Papers project, led by ICIJ and German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung working in collaboration with more than 100 media outlets, has been honored with awards and finalist mentions by more than a dozen major international prizes, including:


Where Are They Now? A Year Later, Mixed Fortunes For Panama Papers Line-Up

One year after the Panama Papers first became an international catchphrase, here’s a globe-hopping update on the people and institutions caught up in the scandal.


VIDEO: Twelve Months of Investigations, Impact and Outrage

A year ago the Panama Papers dominated newspaper headlines and brought now-iconic images to TV screens around the world. Since then, investigations have continued and outrage has grown.


Panama Prosecutor Claims 'Solid Case' Against Mossack Fonseca

The law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers affair, sold shell companies and held bank accounts that were used to help conceal bribes paid across South America, a Panamanian prosecutor alleged at a press conference.


Founders of Panama Papers Law Firm Arrested on Money Laundering Charges

Police in Panama arrested the founders of Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the center of the Panama Papers scandal, on money laundering charges Thursday after authorities raided the firm’s headquarters as part of investigations into Brazil’s largest-ever bribery scandal.


Tax Agencies Draw Up ‘Target List’ of Offshore Enablers

Tax agencies from 30 countries convened in Paris this week to take part in the largest ever simultaneous exchange of tax information and to share results and details on thousands of investigations sparked by the Panama Papers.


Panama’s Revolving Door Shows Global Challenge of Offshore Reform

In a country where top-drawer lawyers move freely between high government posts and law firms selling secrecy-cloaked shell companies, bringing lasting change to the offshore industry is a challenge.


Journalists Hang Tough in Face of Backlash Against Panama Papers Reporting

Reporters have faced consequences both in nations where media crackdowns are common and also in nations with reputations for high levels of press freedom.


Panama Papers Have Had Historic Global Effects — and the Impacts Keep Coming

The investigation has produced an almost daily drumbeat of regulatory moves, follow-up stories and calls by politicians and activists for more action to combat offshore financial secrecy.


BVI Hits Mossack Fonseca With Largest Fine Ever After Panama Papers Investigation

The $440,000 penalty followed a six-month investigation which included on-site compliance inspections and the appointment of an officer to monitor Mossack Fonseca's operations.


Experts Who Quit Panama's Transparency Commission Produce Their Own Report

Report's authors say that the U.S. and EU have the power to force other nations to embrace transparency reforms by threatening to cut off access to their financial systems.


Pakistan's PM Responds to Supreme Court Hearing on Panama Papers

Nawaz Sharif defended himself before the nation’s highest court, as opposition supporters celebrated in Islamabad.


Panama Hires PR Firm Amid Ongoing Panama Papers Fallout

A PR firm is being paid $50,000 a month to help the Panama government, while arrests, protests and more continue around the world.


Hedge Fund Sues Mossack Fonseca For Alleged Obstruction of Justice in Nevada

Confidential emails revealed in the Panama Papers have opened a new front in a bitter court battle in Nevada involving a hedge fund led by an American billionaire, new court filings show.


Experts Quit Panama's Transparency Committee Over Lack of Transparency

The committee was established in the wake of the Panama Papers to probe Panama's financial services industry, but now two out of three international members have resigned.


Continent of Secrets: Uncovering Africa's Offshore Empires

Africa receives $50 billion of foreign aid money annually, but then loses roughly the same amount through illicit outflows. Can you uncover Africa's offshore empires? Play now!


Secret Offshore Deals Deprive Africa of Billions in Natural Resource Dollars

The Panama Papers show how politicians and mining, oil and gas interests benefit from secrecy and dubious multimillion dollar transfers.


Secret Documents Expose Nigerian Oil Mogul’s Offshore Hideaways

A dealmaker’s backstage maneuverings are revealed in the Panama Papers as he hung with celebrities while criminal investigators closed in.


Diamond Mine with Offshore Ties Leaves Trail of Complaints

The Panama Papers reveal a network of shell companies linked to a mining operation that has been accused of environmental harms and unpaid taxes.


Out of Africa, Into Tax Havens

As visitors come to see what’s in Africa, some safari operators’ profits head offshore.


Reporters Warned, Inquiries Opened as African Nations Respond to Panama Papers

Mossack Fonseca targeted clients in Africa for business, but now some of those clients have become targets themselves as authorities launch investigations into the Panama Papers revelations.


Panama Papers Credited As New EU Anti Money-Laundering And Tax Abuse Rules Proposed

The European Commission has announced it will tighten the European Union’s anti-money laundering rules and increase transparency requirements for companies and trusts.


Venezuela and Panama To Launch Joint Panama Papers Investigation

The joint investigation will be the "first of its kind," and Venezuela's attorney general has hinted at a long list of suspects.


European Inquiry to Call UK Chancellor, Mossack Fonseca to Testify

A special 65-member Panama Papers committee of inquiry has been created by the European parliament to investigate potential wrongdoing exposed by ICIJ's investigation.


Mossack Fonseca's US Operations Under Pressure, Island Offices Closed

Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca’s local affiliate in Nevada has resigned from more than 1,000 companies and paid a penalty to the state amid investigations on multiple fronts.


US States Under Pressure As World Pushes For Financial Transparency

Nevada, Wyoming and Delaware are facing growing pressure over their lack of corporate transparency, as the United States and the international community continue to respond to fallout from the Panama Papers.


The Malefactors of Mossack Fonseca

Meet The Dutchman, the Queen of the South, the Boss of Bosses and other convicted felons and alleged wrongdoers who have benefited from services provided by the law firm.


Panama Papers Include Dozens of Americans Tied to Fraud and Financial Misconduct

Mossack Fonseca's files include offshore companies linked to at least 36 Americans accused of serious financial wrongdoing, including fraud and racketeering.


Beyond Panama: Unlocking the world’s secrecy jurisdictions

The 21 jurisdictions covered by the Panama Papers data vary from the rolling hills of Wyoming to tropical getaways like the British Virgin Islands. But all have at least one thing in common - secrecy is the rule.


Panama Papers Source Offers Documents To Governments, Hints At More To Come

The anonymous whistleblower behind the Panama Papers has conditionally offered to make the documents available to government authorities.


US Officials React to Panama Papers Disclosures With Get-Tough Proposals

The Obama administration has proposed a national registry documenting the real owners of shell companies and other measures aimed at fighting offshore chicanery.


Iceland’s First Lady Linked to Offshore Investments

Records in the Panama Papers and the Swiss Leaks leaked files tie the wife of Iceland President Ólafur Grímsson to offshore companies and accounts.


Coming Soon: ICIJ to Release Panama Papers Offshore Companies Data

The database, to be released on May 9, will likely be the largest ever release of secret offshore companies and the people behind them.


Cartel-Linked Suspects Arrested After Panama Papers Revelations

Uruguayan prosecutors are seeking to bring to trial at least five individuals detained on suspicion of laundering money for a powerful Mexican drug cartel.


US Prosecutor Opens Investigation Into 'Panama Papers Matters'

ICIJ welcomes the interest from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office, but has made it clear it won't be turning over its data or taking part in any investigation.


Banks Ordered to Provide Info on Panama Dealings to NY Regulator

More than a dozen banks identified in the Panama Papers investigation have been asked to hand over details of their communications with Mossack Fonseca.


Art held offshore


Pakistan's PM Leaves Country, Spanish Minister Resigns

Nawaz Sharif faces growing pressure and calls for his resignation, a Spanish minister has stepped aside, and more governments are pledging reform as fallout from the Panama Papers revelations continues.


Panama Police Raid Mossack Fonseca As Global Fallout Continues

The search of Mossack Fonseca's Panama headquarters comes after a number of raids and official action taken in response to the Panama Papers revelations.


Global joint investigation to be proposed at special tax meeting

Tax officials from 28 nations met in Paris to develop a strategy for collaborative action based on Panama Papers revelations.


British PM Announces New Transparency Measures Following Panama Papers Revelations

David Cameron appeared before parliament on Monday to address concerns about his own links to offshore holdings revealed in the Panama Papers, as well as announce reform aimed at boosting transparency.


The Art of Secrecy

Locked in the files of a Panama law firm are the answers to mysteries involving Van Goghs, Picassos, Rembrandts and other masterworks.


Panama Papers Spark High-Level FIFA Resignation and Swiss Police Raid

Swiss police searched the office of Europe's top soccer association and a member of FIFA's ethics panel resigned following Panama Papers revelations.


Leaked Files Offer Many Clues To Offshore Dealings by Top Chinese

Eight current and former members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the country's top decision makers, have relatives with secret offshore companies.


Spies and Shadowy Allies Lurk in Secret With Help From Offshore Firm

Firm helps CIA operatives and other characters — real or fanciful — from the world of espionage set up offshore companies to obscure their dealings.


Iceland Prime Minister Tenders Resignation Following Panama Papers Revelations

The prime minister of Iceland said he would resign following mass protests triggered by reports from ICIJ and partners that he had owned an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands with his wife.


Law Firm’s Files Include Dozens of Companies and People Blacklisted by U.S. Authorities

Global law firm’s customers include suspected financiers of terrorism, nuclear weapons proliferators and gunrunners.


How Family that Runs Azerbaijan Built an Empire of Hidden Wealth

Documents peel away three layers of secret ownership in a conglomerate and lead to gold mines and overseas real estate.


Global Banks Team with Law Firms To Help the Wealthy Hide Assets

Leaked records show that hundreds of banks and their subsidiaries and branches registered nearly 15,600 shell companies.

About this project

The Panama Papers is an unprecedented investigation that reveals the offshore links of some of the globe’s most prominent figures.


All Putin’s Men: Secret Records Reveal Money Network Tied to Russian Leader

Complex offshore financial deals channel money and power towards a network of people and companies linked to President Vladimir Putin.


Giant Leak of Offshore Financial Records Exposes Global Array of Crime and Corruption

Millions of documents show heads of state, criminals and celebrities using secret hideaways in tax havens.


Panamanian Law Firm Is Gatekeeper To Vast Flow of Murky Offshore Secrets

Files show client roster that includes drug dealers, Mafia members, corrupt politicians and tax evaders — and wrongdoing galore.


Leak Ties Ethics Guru to Three Men Charged in FIFA Scandal

Secret documents show how deeply the world of soccer has become enmeshed in the world of offshore havens.


Iceland’s Prime Minister Ducks Question But the Answer Catches Up with Him

He came to power after the country’s financial collapse while hiding his offshore holdings of millions in bonds from Icelandic banks.


How the One Percenters Divorce: Offshore Intrigue Plays Hide and Seek with Millions

Firm that practices no matrimonial law nonetheless plays big role when the superrich around the globe decide to split.


Africa's offshore secrets revealed as investigations continue


In just over 48 hours since ICIJ and more than one dozen media partners across Africa launched a wave of new reporting on Panama Papers with a focus on the world’s poorest continent, new investigations have generated strong public interest and attracted interest from governments.

The investigations exposed how offshore companies have been used to siphon money out of Africa, particularly in the oil, gas and mining industries. ICIJ found extractives industry businesses in 44 out of Africa’s 54 countries using offshore financial structures detailed in the Panama Papers, including 37 companies linked to court actions or official investigations.

Advocacy groups said the latest round of Panama Papers stories highlighted the serious impact offshore secrecy has on Africa.

“This gives a window on to the murky underworld of secret deals and sham companies that is robbing people in the world’s poorest continent of their futures,” commented the British nongovernmental organization Global Witness.

“Rather than being used to build hospitals and schools, these huge sums are siphoned off through offshore companies, helped by lawyers and other professionals, and then spent on luxury goods and property in the US and UK.”

Oxfam America praised ICIJ’s and its partners’ work, and repeated their call for a bipartisan bill in the U.S. Congress that would bring more transparency to offshore schemes exposed by the Panama Papers investigation.

“The widening Panama Papers scandal shows how urgently we need Congress to pass these common sense reforms,” said Tatu Ilunga, Oxfam America’s Senior Policy advisor on tax and extractive industries.

“The extractives industry has been shown to be a hugely corrupting influence at the heart of many of these scandals. … As a result, some of Africa’s most resource rich countries are also its poorest and most unequal.”

In addition to ICIJ’s own stories, journalists who collaborated with ICIJ have published at least one dozen new investigations with more to come:

  • articles/00Africa/160727-partners-02.jpgIn Egypt, the government said it was unaware of the offshore activities of a company with which it signed a lucrative oil deal in the Gulf of Suez;
  • In Togo, cement executives used offshore companies to manage part of their vast West Africa business empire;
  • Kenya’s Ministry of State for Defence signed a contract with an offshore firm that, in the secret files, explicitly stated its purpose was “tax avoidance;”
  • A cousin of the King of Morocco was linked to as many as 30 offshore companies, reportedly used for stock market betting designed for foreign investors, not Moroccans;
  • A mysterious company with no online presence or physical offices in Botswana has been accused of unsustainable fracking in Botswana’s Kalahari Desert;
  • Two Namibian businessmen with ties to an infamous arms deal were identified as clients of Mossack Fonseca;
  • In South Africa, a major bank found itself in a muddle by denying any ties to Mossack Fonseca yet recording nearly 25,000 results in the Panama Papers database;
  • In Mali, a French mobile phone company would not explain why it paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to a shell company for Mali’s first mobile phone network, or disclose who the money was for;
  • In Burkina Faso, a discreet American pilot of the country’s former president, who quit office in 2014 following mass protests, used an offshore company for a property deal in the United Kingdom;
  • New details emerged in a controversial land deal in Mozambique that may displace thousands of people but about which very little, including the true identity of executives behind the companies, is known;
  • In Algeria, a powerful executive was an early customer of Mossack Fonseca, reportedly in breach of Algerian laws that prohibited offshore holdings;
  • In Niger, the man behind a major transport company who is reportedly close to the country’s ruling political party, used an offshore company to receive revenue from his buses across the Sahara Desert.

More stories will be published in the coming days in Tanzania, Mauritius, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Senegal. Together, this series represents ICIJ’s biggest journalistic collaboration of African media outlets to date. Many of ICIJ’s partners worked in editorial collaboration with the African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR).

Some of ICIJ’s partners in Africa have already reported that government agencies have been in contact to express surprise at the level of detail about offshore activity contained within the Panama Papers. Other reporters said there are indications that authorities may open inquiries into some of the named companies and individuals.

In Niger, the central African landlocked country, newspapers carrying the exclusive investigation by Moussa Askar, director of L’Evenement, sold out completely.

The leaderboard on ICIJ’s Continent of Secrets game (supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting) has also filled quickly, as more than 2600 players from about 170 countries have completed the game. The top score so far is 6640, set by a player who calls themselves L’Ouest from the United States. The top 10 players so far are from the U.S., New Zealand, Belgium, Austria, Norway and South Africa.

ICIJ journalist Will Fitzgibbon will speak about the investigation at an event at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting on Thursday, alongside tax policy and transparency experts. The event will be livestreamed online.

Tweet Facebook

Find this content interesting and worth supporting?

Donate to ICIJ. Help us continue investigating important global issues.

Donate now
Donate now