Last year a mass of documents were anonymously passed to Bastian Obermayer, a journalist with the Munich-based Suddeutsche Zeitung.
They became known as the Panama Papers and included the names of 430,000 people who had allegedly used a Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca, to hide money for them in secret offshore investments.
China’s President Xi Jinping, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Azeri President Ilham Aliev, Moroccan King Mohammed VI, Saudi King Salman ibn Abdul-Aziz al Saud and the late father of the then British Prime Minister David Cameron were all named.
Iceland’s prime minister was the first casualty. Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson was forced to resign after being accused of concealing millions of dollars’ worth of family assets.
In June 2016, the European Parliament created a committee of inquiry into the Panama Papers, chaired by German MEP Werner Langen.
The European Union’s OLAF anti-fraud unit took possession of a copy of the Panama Papers and compared it with a list of 40,000