This letter was reportedly sent out to a limited number of Mossack Fonseca clients recently; it recites that the recipients are not among those whose personal data was stolen by persons unknown to the firm.
Now its Panama Leaks; massive amounts of customer data, stored on the computers of the country's principal provider of corporations, Mossack Fonseca, has been stolen, and delivered to foreign journalists, who reportedly are planning on releasing it as early as tomorrow (Monday). The data is believed to contain information on Panama companies, and bank accounts, held by foreign government officials, other Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), and organized crime syndicates.
The public release of this information could result in widespread criminal charges against corrupt heads of state, and other officials who have banked the proceeds of illegal bribes and kickbacks they have received; there will be special attention paid to individuals who accepted money from American and British firms, to allow them to participate in lucrative business arrangements, as both the US & UK strictly enforce their foreign corruption laws.
Mossack Fonseca, already reeling being implicated in a major corruption case in Brazil, in which present or former government officials at the highest level are under criminal investigation, has also been in the news lately, due to allegations that senior officials in Malta hold secret banks accounts in Panama, facilitated by the Mossack firm. Investigative reporters are allegedly already to publish the names, and sordid details, of a large number of corrupt PEPs. Some television media are reportedly
planning on running stories early this coming week.
Panama insiders have said that the source of the information was not, as Mossack is reporting, an intrusion by hackers, but an inside job. A former female employee, with access to the data, was allegedly involved in an intimate relationship with a Mossack name partner. The relationship ended badly some time ago, and the employee exacted her revenge by going public with Mossack client lists and related data.
The impact of this leak cannot be underestimated; it will seriously undermine global confidence in the ability of Panamanian financial service providers to assist corrupt government officials, and career criminals, in hiding their ill-gotten gains, which is the major segment of the client base in such firms. It is too early to know whether dirty money will now seek a different opaque harbor to be hidden.