ICIJ to release searchable database on thousands of entities

Instead of raw data, ICIJ will provide the data in searchable database format, linking entities to documents/ owners where identified

ICIJ to release a searchable database on May 9
ICIJ to release a searchable database on May 9

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]CIJ (International Council of Investigative Journalists) will be releasing information on thousands of companies in a searchable database format.

The repository is going to be the biggest ever discharge of secret offshore firms as well as the people behind them.

This information comes from the firm Mossack Fonseca, one of the top players in the offshore tax haven industry, and contains information regarding finances, trusts and firms included from Hong Kong to Vegas in the USA. Consumers will have the ability to go looking through the data and visualize the communities around thousands of offshore businesses, including, when feasible, Mossack Fonseca’s internal documents of the accurate entrepreneurs, once the information is released. The active repository will also include information regarding over 100,000 additional businesses that have been the main 2013 ICIJ Offshore Leaks research.

While the database starts up a world that’s never been uncovered on such a massive degree, it is not a “data dump” of the original documents – it will be careful not to release personal data such as Bank account numbers/ Passport pages etc. The repository will not contain files of bank reports and monetary transactions, emails along with other correspondence, passports, and phone numbers. The data that is chosen and minimal is being posted inside the public attention.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]M[/dropcap]eanwhile, the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung which acquired the leak, ICIJ, along with other worldwide media partners, including several new sites in places where ICIJ was unable to cover, can proceed to research and release stories within weeks and the months to come.

The Panama Papers research uncovered criminals along with the secret offshore deals of world leaders along with other politicians. It uncovered the role of big banks in facilitating tax and secrecy evasion and deterrence. It also revealed how organizations and people penalized while in the U.S. and elsewhere on terrorism, drug-trafficking and other violations could actually conduct business through jurisdictions.

It has introduced a new sense of urgency among lawmakers to close loopholes and make information about the owners of the shell corporations public.

In the U.S., where many states act as tax havens for people from all around the globe, President Barack Obama has stated that the Panama Papers revelations and global tax avoidance helped by secrecy countries is “a big problem.” The president included that “a large amount of it is appropriate, but that’s precisely the challenge. It’s not that they’re breaking the laws, it’s the laws that are so poorly designed.”

The database is going to be revealed at Panama Papers OffShore leaks on May 9 at 2PM EDT (10:30PM IST).

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