On April 4, data from more than 11 million documents were leaked; dubbed the panama papers; it exposed the tax affairs of some of the wealthiest and most powerful people. Here is how some of these big names responded following the revelation.
The PM of Iceland, Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, announced his resignation this Tuesday in the wake of mounting resentment. Initially he had planned to continue his tenure but amidst public outcry and mass demonstrations by citizens, he was forced to step down.
The Premier of United Kingdom, David Cameron, had previously condemned wealthy tax evaders. However Cameron has himself recently come under the spotlight following the latest revelation. Faced with mounting pressure, Cameron admitted that he owned and profited from his late father’s offshore funds.
Amitabh Bachchan has come under fire with it being alleged links with offshore entities in two tax havens. The Bollywood superstar countered that his name was “misused” and that he never was affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in the leaked documents.
Controversy again engulfed the Sharif family following the leaks. They have been accused of tax avoidance and money laundering; the PM is being asked to shed some transparency about the vast wealth they have accumulated. They however defended their ownership of offshore holdings and evading taxes with Sharif’s son commenting that they did “nothing wrong”.
The Indian actress Aishwarya Rai and members of her family were among the names mentioned on the list. On behalf of the Aishwarya Rai, her media advisor responded that the documents were not authentic and the information was “totally untrue and false”.
In response to allegations of tax fraud, the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko denied any wrong doing and stated that he has always acted “in full compliance with the Ukrainian and international private law.”
The Panama papers provided detailed information on more than 214,000 offshore companies and the identities of their shareholders and directors. The documents have cast light on how the wealthy had been hiding their money from public scrutiny and have been considered to be the biggest leak in history.