In 2015, an anonymous source leaked to the Süddeutsche Zeitung a cache of data containing 11.5 million documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonesca. The German newspaper sought the help of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) to sort through the 2.6 terabytes of information — which included emails, financial spreadsheets and corporate records reaching back to 1977 — before the first findings were published in April 2016.
The documents detailed how the firm helped its clients avoid taxes and launder money. Some contained information relating to 214,000 shell companies set up by Mossack Fonesca. The leak implicated prominent politicians and celebrities, including Iceland’s then-prime minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, who resigned two days after the leak was made public.
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