Maintaining the treasury of the any country is the most important responsibility of the Government of that country. The Government of the United States of America has a wake-up call to strengthen the laws and close the loop-holes to offshore banking. The exposure of the Panama Papers has revealed the names of a multitude of people in many countries of the world who have found ways to hide their income in offshore accounts so that they can avoid paying taxes on their income.
After a year-long investigation, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) uncovered more than 11.5 million records over almost 40 years that show how law firms and big banks have created an industry to provide secret accounts for world leaders, politicians, drug cartels, billionaires and scam artists to hide their wealth. Many are companies and individuals who have been “blacklisted” by the US government for conducting illegal businesses, such as drug cartels, terrorist organizations, as well as with countries that the US has levied sanctions against like North Korea and Iran. One US company was found to be supplying airplane fuel to the Syrian government to bomb and kill its own citizens.
“These findings show how deeply ingrained harmful practices and criminality are in the offshore world,” said Gabriel Zucman, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley. These companies and individuals are providing the breeding ground for crime and reducing national treasuries.
Using an offshore account is not illegal, but the Panama Papers reveal banks and law firms are not making sure their clients are following the legal requirements and are not ensuring their clients are not involved in corruption, crime, or tax evasion. It has been identified that official documents have even been altered to hide the identity of their customers.