A giant leak of more than 11.5 million confidential documents has revealed the financial details and money management of the world’s rich and famous.
Listed among the names of global leaders, politicians, and Fifa officials, is the nephew of president Jacob Zuma, Khulubuse Zuma, who features in a list of 140 ‘power players’ caught up in the ‘Panama Papers’.
The documents were leaked from a Panamanian law firm called Mossack Fonseca, to German investigative newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
The leak came from an anonymous source and was then shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
The ICIJ released the findings of its investigation on Sunday evening under the title: The #PanamaPapers – Politicians, Criminals and the Rogue Industry That Hides Their Cash.
Süddeutsche Zeitung said it acquired approximately 2.6 terabytes of data, including emails, banking details and client records dating back 40 years.
“The data provides rare insights into a world that can only exist in the shadows. It proves how a global industry led by major banks, legal firms, and asset management companies secretly manages the estates of the world’s rich and famous: from politicians, Fifa officials, fraudsters and drug smugglers, to celebrities and professional athletes,” Süddeutsche Zeitung said.
Due to the sheer size of the leaked documents, SZ said it passed on the information to ICIJ which included investigation and research from 400 journalists from more than 100 media organisations in over 80 countries.
The ICIJ stressed that while owning an offshore company is not illegal in itself, “a look through the Panama Papers very quickly reveals that concealing the identities of the true company owners was the primary aim in the vast majority of cases”.
The documents said of Zuma
A spokesman for Fleurette, the owner of the two companies, told that “the DRC benefits hugely” from “investment and long-term commitment” and noted “extensive benefits to local communities.” Zuma did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
In 2014, City Press reported that president Zuma played a crucial role in a decision by DRC President Joseph Kabila to allocate two oilfields in the northeast of the country to his nephew – deal valued at R100 billion in 2010.
The full list of power players can be fond here