The Panama bombshell
April 4, 2016 Leave a comment
Recently hackers gave 11.5 million records from Panama’s Mossack Fonseca – one of the world’s largest creators of shell companies to the Washington based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists [ICIJ].
Among the countries with past or present political figures named in the reports are Iceland, Ukraine, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Argentina.
Ramon Fonseca, a co-founder of Mossack Fonseca, confirmed that documents investigated by the ICIJ were authentic. ICIJ said the documents involve 214,488 companies and 14,153 clients of Mossack Fonseca.
One of the political figures reported is Russian president [and some say dictator] Vladimir Putin who is said to have hid $2 billion US. A Putin spokesman claimed that the Russian president was the “main target” of the investigation, which he suggested was the result of “Putinophobia” and aimed at smearing the country in a parliamentary election year. The ICIJ has links to the US government, Dmitry Peskov suggested. I guess he assumes every organization based in Washington has links to the US government.
Peskov added that Sergei Rodulgin, a St. Petersburg-based cellist allegedly involved in the offshore schemes, was a friend of Putin’s but that the president “has very many friends.” But the investigation isn’t going after all of Putin’s friends.
The investigation was published by independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta but the government has blocked the rest of the media from reporting it.
I guess they forgot that this is 2016 and not 1976 and something called the Internet.
In this day and age it is hard not to hide this from anyone when you can access the Internet. [The probable exception is North Korea as they limit who has access to the Internet.]
One has to wonder that if the Russian government is blocking media coverage then whether they have something to hide. This sounds a bit like the return of Communism.
To show you how bad it is getting in Russia, the number of people charged with treason tripled in 2014, advocates say.
In one case, a man was sent to prison for treason because five years after he retired from his job as a radio and IT engineer in the military intelligence service, he sent out feelers for new work. Couldn’t find any in Russia, he emailed letters of inquiry to the Ministry of Defense in Belarus and later to a civilian telecommunications company in Sweden. He received no job offers. His job requests were eventually picked up by the FSB, who raided the man’s home, without a warrant, and took computers and flash drives. The man co-operated as the FSB watched him for another year but then he was seized and put in detention for 14 years.