REPORT: Pandora Papers leak reveals ‘apocalyptic offshore finance’ according to Snowden
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published a leak of 11.9 million files of financial data to several news organizations Sunday. According to the massive leak, 35 current and former national leaders, and more than 330 politicians and public officials in 91 countries are hiding their wealth. Now reporters are calling it the “Pandora Papers.”
Scale of the Pandora Papers
Among the allegations, Vladimir Putin’s alleged girlfriend Svetlana Krivonogikh is revealed to have a secret Monaco apartment. She became the owner shortly after giving birth to Putin’s supposed daughter, who is now 18 years old. Leaks also accuse current Czech Republic Prime Minister Andrej Babiš of owning a secret $22 million estate in France.
Those in the consortium have not revealed how they came across the files. But they come from 14 sources and 2.94 terabytes of data. It is the largest scale offshore-finance leak so far. In addition, they plan to publish more.
Reactions to the Leak
Whistleblower turned fugitive Edward Snowden tipped his hat to the whistleblowers involved. “The humorous side of this very serious story is that even after two apocalyptic offshore finance/law firm leaks, those industries are still compiling vast databases of ruin, and still secure them with a Post-It Note marked ‘do not leak,'” Snowden tweeted.
Then, heads of state responded to the leak. President Biden tweeted that he is determined to change the wealthy’s “free ride.”
“Those at the top have been getting a free ride at the expense of the middle class for far too long. With my Build Back Better Agenda, we’re going to change that,” Biden wrote.
Chancellor of Exchequer Rishi Sunak appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today program. “It is a global problem,” Sunak said. “And we need other countries to cooperate with us to tackle this. But we are determined to do that.”
Finally, Babiš denied any wrong doing in a debate Sunday. However the Kremlin has not responded to requests for comment.
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.