Panama Problems: Document Dump Reveals Firm Assisted Sanctions Evasion


By William Stroupe

Investigations of the vast trove of leaked documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca have revealed widespread assistance in clients’ efforts to evade sanctions. The firm registers offshore corporations under its own name, keeping owners’ names out of publicly reported information. After the imposition of sanctions, the firm continued to work for entities and individuals with ties to some of the world’s most oppressive regimes. In addition to sanctioned entities in Zimbabwe and Iran, this includes a corporation owned by North Korean officials under U.S. sanctions for activities related to nuclear proliferation, six owned by embattled Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad’s billionaire cousin, and another owned by a close friend of Vladimir Putin and thought to be operated on the Russian autocrat’s behalf.  Investigation into the cache of over 11.5 million documents is ongoing.