Pandora Papers leak investigation has taken the world by storm. Global systematic corruption was discovered through the investigation. About 12 million documents were brought forward by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Politicians, celebrities, convicted felons, and other high-profile people were named as suspects. The leaks named a number of people, including King Abdullah II, Tony Blair, and Uhuru Kenyatta. The investigation revealed how these individuals set up offshore companies to steal and divert money. Approximately trillions of dollars have been stolen over the years. As a result, it begs the question of where the money came from and who paid for it.
So many television shows have used the line, “follow the money.” Likewise, the investigation did exactly that. Nine key secrecy brokers were identified along with their clients. Namely, Trident Trust, Alcogal, and OMC Group.
These secrecy brokers transferred money from one region to another. Latin America and the Caribbean (15) have the most powerful players, closely followed by Europe (14) and the Middle East (13).
The standard of living and poor essential services in these regions are outcomes of this corrupt system. Poverty rates increase every year in each continent. Particularly in impoverished countries and among minority groups. Whilst the poor keep getting poorer, the rich keep getting richer. “A total of 703-729 million people will be living on less than $1.90 a day. The extreme poverty rate will be 9.1% to 9.4%.” stated World Bank statistics. Thus, the social scales are tipped against the lower classes.
Poverty is joined in the list of social problems by fraud, bribery, tax evasion, and avoidance. These practices ensured that money flowed in only one direction. As a result, they deprive other social classes of resources. Consequently, crime increased as a means of supplementing household cash flow. Prostitution, illegal arms smuggling, drugs, and human trafficking have all become alternative sources of income. Adding to the global social devastation.
Policymakers and legislators have attempted to enact legislation to address all of these issues. But have been unsuccessful. This is largely due to the investigation’s emphasis on the “BIG LAW.” Proposals to strengthen financial regulatory oversight and tax laws were met with opposition from law firms representing offshore companies. In effect, the law has become a victim of the corrupt global system. “Global corruption is an existential threat to democracy.” Paul Massaro, a congressional anti-corruption adviser, said.
The question on everyone’s mind is what to do next. There is a lot of skepticism about potential changes. On October 6, the European Parliament held a session to discuss the situation. While US lawmakers prepare to respond to legislative changes, other governments have yet to offer solutions. With this in mind, it is hoped that swift and decisive action will be taken to find solutions. In the meantime, the global social justice crisis is worsening.
The Pandora Papers investigation, in the end, provided answers to years of unanswered questions. A new chapter has been written as hard evidence of the truth, but how it will unfold remains to be seen.