In what has been called “the largest cross border journalism collaboration in history”, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has today released an astounding project: “Secrecy for Sale: Inside the Global Offshore Money Maze“.
86 journalists in 46 countries have tackled 2.5 million secret files, which amount to more than 200 gigabytes of data (160 times more than the the WikiLeaks download). Hidden within the data is information on the beneficial owners of over 120,000 companies and trusts in a range of tax havens, most notably the British Virgin Islands.
The individuals implicated are, of course, not the average person saving the odd penny. ICIJ findings suggest that public officials, their families and associates, natural resource magnates and super-wealthy individuals have been making use of a well-paid and efficient infrastructure of lawyers, bankers and accountants to hide their assets behind a veil of legally-backed secrecy. To see who are the first to be exposed, have a look at the list in this article on the Guardian.
While the major world economies stagnate, the economies in the global south struggle to find a sustainable path to development, and UK public institutions are stripped away, a super-elite actively seek ways to escape obligations to the rest of society.
TaxHack will be part of the push back.
Question to @ICIJ: Is it a sin to covet thy neighbours data? #offshoreleaks