Alaa Mubarak, the son of former President Hosni Mubarak, is among the global political figures whose financial dealings were exposed in the “Panama Papers,” a document leak said to be the largest in the history of journalism.
More than 11 million documents were leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which sells offshore companies to customers around the globe. The leaked documents show how the firm helped clients dodge taxes, launder money and evade sanctions. German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which originally received the documents, shared them with a team of journalists from around the world in cooperation with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
A 2015 report by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights estimated that Egypt’s treasury loses up to LE5 billion per year in tax revenue due to companies using tax havens to shield their assets.
Some of the leaked documents relate to Pan World Investments, a British Virgin Islands-based company owned by Alaa Mubarak that BVI authorities ordered frozen after the overthrow of Mubarak. According to a summary prepared by the ICIJ, in 2013, Mossack Fonseca was fined US$37,500 for failing to carry out due diligence regarding Mubarak, deemed a “high-risk customer.”
Other heads of state or their associates whose financial dealings were exposed include Libya’s Muammar Qadhafi, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, former Iraqi Vice President Ayad Allawi, Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko, Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
All together, the Guardian, one of the papers involved in the investigation, says that 143 politicians are implicated, along with 23 individuals who faced sanctions, a member of Fifa’s ethics committee and numerous business people.
According to the Guardian, most of the database will not be made publicly available.