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More Names Surface in Panama Papers Leak, but Still No High-Profile Americans

    The Panama Papers include 2.6 terabytes of data, almost 40 years of records and information about more than 210,000 companies in 21 offshore jurisdictions. (Pixabay)
Emma Niles
Assistant Editor
Emma Niles, an assistant editor at Truthdig, graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a degree in political science. She has worked for the National Women’s Law Center and Ms. Magazine.…
Emma Niles


Although many public figures across the world have been implicated in the leaked Panama Papers, few Western elites have been named in the media coverage.

The list of non-Westerners tied to tax havens in Panama continues to grow: first, parts of Putin’s inner circle. Then, regime leaders in Syria. And now, wealthy Chinese citizens.

CBC News reports:

Close relatives of China’s top leaders, including an in-law of anti-corruption crusader President Xi Jinping, have been hiding assets in offshore companies and accruing sometimes vast wealth, according to the latest revelations from the Panama Papers leak.

Family of eight current or former members of the country’s most powerful ruling body, the Politburo Standing Committee, as well as prominent Chinese billionaires have newly discovered ties to shadowy corporations in places like the British Virgin Islands or Samoa.

As Truthdig has reported, Western corporate media has been the main vehicle for exposing the law firm Mossack Fonseca’s documents. A USA Today piece examining which Americans are named in the leak mostly identifies people who have already been convicted of financial crimes — less shocking than the revelations spreading across other countries.

Technicalities behind the analysis may be to blame. The International Consortium of Journalists reports that it searched through the millions of documents by looking for names associated with violations of United Nations sanctions. Some names not unearthed in that procedure may surface later.

The Panama Papers have yielded significant information, but considering the influence of corporate interests over mainstream media, is it possible that certain people will be excluded from coverage? Unless the documents are released in full to the public, the world will have to rely on the integrity of the journalists involved.

–Posted by Emma Niles

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