Rania Afridi

Jul 31, 2017

The Panama papers, one of the biggest leaks in journalistic history reveals the secretive offshore companies used to hide wealth, evade taxes and commit fraud by the world's dictators, business tycoons and criminals. Panama papers leakage brought a tsunami of reactions from the globe. This scandal raised anger and provoked street protests and even launched legal investigation and active prosecution.

Here’s the summary of reactions given by different countries, political personalities, prosecutors, spokespersons and journalists.

THE WAY UNITED STATES REACTED: White house mouthpiece, Josh Earnest, had no specific comments and said “Greater transparency allows us to root our corruption.” said by Josh Earnest.

The justice department reacted by determining if any strong evidence to start the potential prosecution. Spokeswoman of treasury department commented “Where we detect such instances and have the evidence to build a legal case for action, we (will) take action consistent with the national security and foreign policy of the US.” Former President Barack Obama also said in a press conference that avoidance of taxes is a huge problem and America also got some folks like that.

REACTION GIVEN BY UK: BBC reported that British Tax Authorities have requested access to the leaked documents. Jennie Granger, delegate of HMRC said that great information on offshore companies has been received which is subjected to the intensive investigation.

By the end of November 2016, it was reported that 2 people had been subjected to legal investigation while 43 are under review.

France’s Reaction: France President, Francois Hollande, said that the leakage of these documents is good news as it would help to boost tax emolument. He assured the nation that cases will be opened and investigation will be carried out against those who committed fraud. Prosecutors started legal investigation to check whether French financial institutions have used Panama to evade taxes.

REACTIONS FROM OTHER DEVELOPED COUNTRIES: Australia. Sweden, New Zealand, Austria and Netherland started kicked off legal investigation and potential prosecution against the shortlisted.

ICELANDERS REACTION: The Prime Minister of Iceland had to resign after a strong protest held by the thousands of Icelanders in front of the Parliament house.

REACTION OF INDIA AND PAKISTAN: PM of India Narendra Modi ordered investigation against the suspects. Special investigation unit was formed for this purpose.

The leaks affected PM of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, and his seat. A case for holding illegal companies was opened. The Supreme Court of Pakistan formed JIT for further investigations. On 28 July, 2017, as a result, Supreme Court disqualified the PM of Pakistan.

The star of football world, Lionel Messi, was also included in Panama papers. He and his family denied of holding such companies even said that this is a huge insult for us. The Bachanas, superstar family of Bollywood, had a charge of owning offshore companies. They also reacted by saying this is just a rumor. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had his name in Panama papers. He reacted to the investigation unit by denying such charge and defended himself by saying “I believe I might be the first top official in Ukraine who treats declaring of assets, paying taxes, conflict of interest issues seriously”.

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