The leak of the Panama Papers, the biggest data leak scandal of its kind – ever, is due to an external hack targeting the firm, the law firm’s co-founder claimed.
Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm that is currently in the eye of a worldwide scandal wherein governments and authorities are investigating the plausible means of tax evasion and financial wrongdoing has, through its co-founder, claimed that it is the victim of an external hack.
The law firm is one that specializes in setting up shell corporations and offshore companies in tax-free havens. Founding partner Ramon Fonseca told Reuters that the firm had broken now laws and that it had operated within the law. Furthermore, he claimed that the law firm hadn’t destroyed any documents, nor had it helped anyone to evade taxes nor launder money.
Speaking to the publication about the breach, he stated:
We rule out an inside job. This is not a leak. This is a hack. We have a theory and we’re following it.
Although Fonseca held back from revealing any information about “the theory” as a possible lead, he also confirmed that his law firm had filed a complaint with state prosecutors in Panama.
We have already made the relevant complaints to the Attorney General’s office, and there is a government institution studying the issue.
The Panama Papers comprises of some 11.5 million documents, that includes emails and documents pertaining to financial arrangements of prominent figures, some of whom are world leaders.
Fonseca called the worldwide media coverage of the leak as “journalistic activism” and sensationalism. Calling it a “witch-hunt”, he further claimed that the emails were taken out of context.
Some of the prominent figures who are shown to be indulging in tax-evasive practices include the likes of the President of Ukraine, relatives of the prime ministers of Britain and Pakistan and the President of China.
The fallout has already begun, with Iceland’s Prime Minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigning on Tuesday, as a direct result of the leak.
Governments and authorities around the world are already conducting investigations to look into the possibility of those avoiding taxes. Furthermore, France has already announced that it is likely to put Panama on its blacklist of uncooperative tax jurisdictions.
Still, Fonseca wants to bring the attention to the breach of its database, rather than the significance of the leak itself.
The only crime that has been proven is the hack. No one is talking about that. That is the story.
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