Last Sunday, the world witnessed the biggest data leak in history. The Panama Papers, as the 11.5 million documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca have now been dubbed, were released by a massive global reporting partnership of over 100 publications led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
The 2.6 terabytes of data detailing the firm’s financial dealings — leaked a year ago to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which then shared them with the ICIJ — cover a myriad offshore accounts and shell companies in tax havens like the British Virgin Islands, the Seychelles and, of course, Panama.
Among those caught up in the leak are dozens of current and former world leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and British Prime Minister David Cameron, mostly through their family members or close associates. Several celebrities, including movie stars like Jackie Chan and Amitabh Bachchan and soccer icon Lionel Messi, have also been named. Being named in the papers, or connected to the offshore entities listed, does not constitute a suggestion of wrongdoing and Mossack Fonseca has vigorously denied any impropriety.
With revelations from the leak and their subsequent repercussions still unfolding, here’s what has happened in the past week.
An early scalp was claimed in Iceland, where Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson stepped down on Tuesday after the documents revealed the existence of an offshore company owned by his wife. Gunnlaugsson himself reportedly had close to $4 million in Icelandic bank bonds through a shell company in the British Virgin Islands, which he sold to his wife for $1 before becoming Prime Minister in 2009, when his country was in the middle of a financial crisis.
Gunnlaugsson later insisted that his resignation was only temporary, releasing a statement that said Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson — who replaced him on Wednesday — is only an “interim” leader.
U.K. leader David Cameron is also under fire, after admitting he benefited from an offshore trust fund based in the Bahamas that was set up by his late father. According to the Guardian, he said he sold his shares in the company shortly before becoming Prime Minister in 2010.
Meanwhile, at soccer’s global governing body FIFA, ethics committee member Juan Pedro Damiani relinquished his position on Wednesday. The leak, according to the ICIJ, linked Damiani to three men convicted in a massive corruption investigation into FIFA. Swiss police also raided European football association UEFA, where the Panama Papers reveal current FIFA president Gianni Infantino had co-signed a 2006 broadcast deal with two men accused of offering bribes.
Another casualty of the leak came from global corruption watchdog Transparency International, with the president of the foundation’s Chile branch, Gonzalo Delaveau, resigning after being linked to at least five offshore accounts.
Two places where the revelations are unlikely to engender wide-ranging fallout, however, are Russia and China.
Russian President Vladimir Putin denied any involvement in offshore financial activities after the leak linked one of his closest friends, musician Sergei Roldugin, to a company behind $2 billion in tax-free funds. Putin slammed the Panama Papers as a conspiracy by the West aimed at weakening Russia’s global standing.
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