Four Corners Panama Papers Investigation: Secrets Of Super Rich Revealed


Four Corners has just set off on an investigation  into a scam that has severely taxed the patience (and tempers) of the super rich. It’s a shadowy world of secret offshore companies and tax avoidance par excellence. Let’s take this journey to see how the rich and powerful exploit the system (and why they do so). Troubled Waters ABC News reports that what viewers are now looking at is “really a parallel universe.” It is a true tale of how the rich and the famous exploit the system to get wealthier.Like us on Facebook Reporter Marian Wilkinson has been hot on the money trail “and catching those stashing away trillions of dollars.” The news site reports that this scam says a lot about “how broke the system is and how crazy the whole thing is.” Panama Papers: The Psychology Of Money The Panama Papers: Secrets of the Super Rich was reported by Wilkinson and presented by Sarah Ferguson. This ABC documentary seems to capture some sense of what 11 million documents reveal – a network of wealth, drug money and crimes beyond redemption. The people who busted the elite tax dodgers? Suddeutsche Zeitung along with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Meanwhile, has reported that hundreds of Australians including everyone from the nation’s most respect firms to confirmed criminals have been snared in a leak involving tax affairs of the wealthy and famous. Largest Leak This is one of the largest leaks of financial documents recorded in economic history, according to ABC. More than 800 Australians have been named as the clients of Panamaian firm Mossack Fonseca, which played the lead role in the shady dealings. Part of the cast also included famous Chinese actor Jackie Chan and Indian superstar Amitabh Bachchan. Mossack Fonseca is known for setting up offshore companies in tax havens to help the rich avoid tax. It includes the King of Saudi Arabia, Pakistani Premier Nawaz Sharif, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a famous Russian cellist and godfather to Putin’s daughter, ace footballer Lionel Messi and the father of British PM David Cameron. The first casualty of the Four Corners investigation has been Iceland’s PM Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, who has resigned in the wake of the scandal. So, who else is on the list? ABC’s Four Corners program said Australian names in the list include mining major BHP Billiton. Wilson Security (a government contractor) and Gold Coast director Ian Taylor. Hong Kong’s wealthiest man Li Ka-Shing, who owns a large chunk of Australia’s electricity sector, was also implicated. Gerard Ryle, the director of ICIJ, has been quoted by the news site as saying “where people want secrecy, they of to Mossack Fonseca.” BHP Billiton was clearly one of them, though the company has denied allegations saying it does not “engage in aggressive tax planning.” Putin associated have moved US$2.6 billion worth of money through offshore companies cooked up by the Panama law firm. Technology has made it easy to store this sensitive financial information in computers when it would take cupboards to fill. So, what prompts the rich and the famous to scam for more? Labor Senator Sam Dastyari has said “every dollar that’s minimised is a dollar not going to a school, it’s not going to a hospital” and most importantly to any “service that we require and need.” It is simply the psychology of wanting more, when you have enough, and losing out on empathy in the process, reports the Huffington Post. Cocaine Cartels Panama was once a famous tax haven under the control of General Manuel Noreiga. The general may have departed and democracy taken hold. Underneath it all, journalist Marian Wilkinson reports that “Panama is still one of the best known tax havens in the world.” Clearly, more proof is not needed. 11 million documents and the evidence of investigative reporters should be enough. Regardless of the denials of those involved. Photo Sources: Flickr, Tax Credits/Flickr