ICIJ's searchable database released 5/8/16, here. The searchable database has this opening disclaimer:
There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities included in the ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly. Many people and entities have the same or similar names. We suggest you confirm the identities of any individuals or entities located in the database based on addresses or other identifiable information. If you find an error in the database please get in touch with us.The page has links and allows users to download the database (or subsets of it in csv format) here. I love databases but am not familiar with the database ICIJ uses: Neo4j, here, a graph database engine that structures data in nodes (the icons you see in the visualization) and edges (the links between nodes). I plan to try to dig into the database later, but will probably first poke around the cvs files (viewable in Excel) to see the scope of what is there.
ICIJ releases database revealing thousands of secret offshore companies (ICIJ 5/9/16), here.
The new data that ICIJ is now making public represents a fraction of the Panama Papers, a trove of more than 11.5 million leaked files from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, one of the world’s top creators of hard-to-trace companies, trusts and foundations.
ICIJ is not publishing the totality of the leak, and it is not disclosing raw documents or personal information en masse. The database contains a great deal of information about company owners, proxies and intermediaries in secrecy jurisdictions, but it doesn’t disclose bank accounts, email exchanges and financial transactions contained in the documents.
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The Panama Papers underscore the fundamental injustices and inequalities created by the offshore system, media commentators and political leaders say.
“When taxes are evaded, when state assets are taken and put into these havens, all of these things can have a tremendous negative effect on our mission to end poverty and boost prosperity,” Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank, said as he opened the spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF in Washington soon after ICIJ and more than 100 other news organizations began revealing the results of the media collaboration’s investigation.
President Barack Obama, meanwhile, pointed out that the biggest problem was that many of the schemes revealed by the Panama Papers were legal. “It’s not that they’re breaking the laws, it’s that the laws are so poorly designed,” he said.
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Citing the Panama Papers, the US government also announced Thursday that it has sent legislation to Congress to create a centralized federal registry of the actual owners of any newly created company. The registry would help law enforcement authorities ferret out the real people behind anonymous companies used in money laundering and other wrongdoing.
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The searchable database that ICIJ publishes today allows users to explore the networks of companies and people that used – and sometimes abused – the secrecy of offshore locales with the help of Mossack Fonseca and other intermediaries. The leaked data covers nearly 40 years, from 1977 through the end of 2015.
The data, which includes postal addresses, displays links to more than 200 countries and territories, from China to Chile. Users can filter the information by country and by offshore jurisdiction. They can also explore the role of banks, law firms and other gatekeepers of the financial system in facilitating the creation of offshore companies for high net worth individuals. For the first time, they can see details about shadowy Panamanian private foundations, including when available information about who controls them.
While the interactive application opens up a world that has never been shown in this much detail, not every owner of a company that appears in the Panama Papers shows up in the public database. This is because ownership information is often buried in emails, power-of-attorney letters and internal notes of Mossack Fonseca employees and cannot easily be extracted in a systematic manner. In addition, Mossack Fonseca often failed to collect the necessary information about the ultimate owners of companies, relying instead on banks and other intermediaries to keep track of that essential data.
Still, it is expected that Panama Papers revelations will continue to surface as regulators and ordinary citizens from around the globe probe the newly available data and find new connections that may have escaped reporters. Concerned citizens are encouraged to share tips with ICIJ and the Panama Papers journalists who continue to investigate the documents. The full dataset is also available for download.
“Transparency is not going to move backward,” Kim said in his World Bank spring meetings remarks, warning that those trying to avoid taxes or steal money from public treasuries should be “very careful” because they will eventually be tracked down. “The world is only going to become more and more transparent as we move forward.”
ICIJ's Offshore Leaks database.
In all, the interactive application reveals more than 360,000 names of people and companies behind secret offshore structures. As the data are from leaked sources and not a standardized registry, there may be some duplication of names.Finally, I offer this comment from a reader regarding the US announcements last week:
The US is going for a jugular target by attacking money laundering. Watch for this news to roil the NY/London/LA/Miami high end real estate trades (plus: art, boats, jewelry, luxury items). Mr. Obama's intended executive actions on forcing disclosure of the beneficial owners of shell companies may signal an attack aimed at one high profile vector, i.e., the use of tax evasion proceeds to buy expensive assets and launder big $$$$$$, in and via the United States. High end retail, hotels, restaurants and various vanity projects will also feel the "blow", not to mention a whole range of facilitators and advisors aka aiders and abetters, wherever situated.