ICIJ Releases Offshore Leaks Database Revealing Names Behind Covert Companies, Trusts
Readers can use new interactive database to search information about the ownership of tens of thousands of offshore entities in tax havens
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists overnight published a database that, for the first time in history, will help begin to strip away the secrecy across 10 offshore jurisdictions.
The Offshore Leaks Database allows users to search through tens of thousands of secret companies, trusts and funds created in offshore locales, and displays graphic visualizations of offshore entities and the networks around them, including, when possible, the company’s true owners.
The database is part of a cache of 2.5 million leaked offshore files ICIJ (a project of the Center for Public Integrity) analyzed with 112 journalists in 58 countries. Since April, stories based on the data — the largest stockpile of inside information about the offshore system ever obtained by a media organization — have been published by more than 40 media organizations worldwide, including The Guardian in the U.K., Le Monde in France, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Norddeutscher Rundfunk in Germany, The Washington Post, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
EU Commissioner Algirdas Semeta said the ICIJ’s investigation has transformed tax politics and amplified political will to tackle the problem of tax evasion – and that the need for tax transparency overrides the principle of data privacy.
And during a visit to the White House in May, British Prime Minister David Cameron made astrong pitch for tackling “the scourge of tax havens”, saying “we need to know who really owns a company, who profits from it”.
The Offshore Leaks web app allows readers to discover exactly that – as well as explore the relationships between clients, offshore entities and the lawyers, accountants, banks and other intermediaries who help keep these arrangements secret.