The 2016 Panama Papers story confirmed that many world leaders were availing themselves of money-laundries to secretly funnel their wealth offshore, with results ranging from severe embarrassment to radical changes in governments.
The aftershocks are still being felt. In Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was put on trial after it was revealed that he, too, had been hiding his money offshore with the help of the disgraced Mossack Fonseca law firm, money launderers to the world.
Sharif escaped conviction — which probably says more about Pakistan's court system than anything else — and his triumphant daughter Maryam celebrated by tweeting that "Panama is crap. Trashed in the rest of the world. Those relying on it to bring down NS wil bite the dust Insha'Allah," adding "Panama papers were never about corruption. Even the stealers & hackers (read originators) didn't say it was."
Of course, this is bullshit. The prizewinning journalists from Suddeutsche Zeitum who broke the story replied: "Sorry to tell you: #panamapapers ARE about #corruption. We found an astonishing number of corruption cases in the documents – and all real," adding: "Trashed in the rest of the world? ICYMI: ~150 investigations, audits & investigations #PanamaPapers in ~80 countries."
"I don't know why she tweeted what she tweeted, looks like party politics," he told Dawn. His response, he said, was "generally about the Panama Papers".
"To my best knowledge, no other head of state has challenged [their] veracity… not even Vladimir Putin, whose best friend we found in the centre of a number of offshore companies," the German journalist said.
[Shailaja Neelakantan/Times of India]