The Panama Papers (2018) Movie Script

BASTIAN: So, it was
in the winter of 2015,
I was at the house
with my parents,
with my wife and my kids.
And everybody was
sick, so really sick.
I was the last one standing.
Then I got this first ping, this
first message from a person who
called himself John Doe, and
asked if I would be interested
in data.
NEWS REPORTER 1: We turn now to
the bombshell causing shockwaves
around the world, the
so-called Panama Papers.
NEWS REPORTER 2: What may be the
largest leak of secret documents
in history.
document leak allegedly showing
how world leaders and the
mega-rich hide billions
of dollars.
NEWS REPORTER 4: A new report
which finds eight billionaires
own as much wealth as the
poorest half of the
world's population.
NEWS REPORTER 5: The papers
paint a picture of wide-spread
corruption and tax evasion.
have journalists stepping in,
trying to tear down those
barriers of secrecy and exposing
what is happening
behind closed doors.
revelation now kicking off a
world-wide investigation.
NEWS REPORTER 8: The whole
issue here is about secrecy.
People can create shell
corporations and secretly move
money around.
NEWS REPORTER 9: World-wide
estimates suggest tens of
trillions of dollars are
hidden in off-shore accounts.
NEWS REPORTER 10: What's really
shocking is the fact that twelve
current or former heads of
state are being accused in
these papers.
NEWS REPORTER 11: A journalist
investigating the Panama Papers
has been killed, sending other
journalists into hiding for fear
of their safety.
firm is denying any wrongdoing,
but this scandal,
the Panama Papers,
is just beginning.
JOHN: My viewpoint
is entirely my own.
Income inequality is one of
the defining issues of our time.
It affects all of
us, the world over.
Still, questions remain.
And why now?
The Panama Papers provide a
compelling answer to
these questions.
Massive, pervasive corruption.
It's not a coincidence that the
answers come from a law firm.
Mossack Fonseca used its
influence to write and bend laws
worldwide to favor the interest
of criminals over a period
of decades.
BASTIAN: In the first
day and the first days,
it was so fascinating because
this window in our world opened
where nobody had ever looked in.
I always wanted to write.
Um, I wanted to
become a novelist,
but that didn't really work out,
so I intended to become a
sports writer.
And that also didn't
work out, and here I am, so...
BASTIAN: Well, I think it's,
um, more or less the defense for
injustice in some way.
We founded our own
paper in Rosenheim,
where I come from, because we
had the feeling that all the
media there are very much
right-wing orientated and that
your important stories
are not really told.
The fact that the
data of Mossack Fonseca,
which I knew as a black hole.
They work with all
kinds of criminals.
You know, they all hold the
information that people who want
to keep their secrets put in
there to disappear from
the public.
So I knew the
company, and I thought,
you know, this guy has access
to the inner stuff of
Mossack Fonseca.
I'm the guy who
wants to have it.
KATRIN: Mossack Fonseca
is a law firm from Panama,
and their business is secrecy.
If you have about
a thousand euros,
you can buy an offshore
company, it's quite easy,
and then you can
even buy, like,
shame directors which means
that all the business you do,
someone else is signing, someone
else is "doing the business".
So no one actually
knows that you own stuff,
and you can hide
all your businesses.
There's a world that is only
accessible for the powerful and
the richest, where
they hide their money,
where they enable
money laundering,
corruption, and actually, the
plundering of all continents.
NEWS REPORTER 13: Since 2015,
the richest one percent have
been more wealthy than the
rest of the world's
population combined.
Now Oxfam says the poorest 10%
have seen their income increase
by less than $3 a year
between 1988 and 2011.
BASTIAN: If we have streets that
are in not a good condition,
if we do not have enough
preschool places or good schools
or if we do have to pay too
much money for universities,
that is due to the fact that
there's so many people out there
that are avoiding
and evading taxes.
That's a problem that is
concerning every country all
around the world,
and every one of us.
BASTIAN: In the first days, it
didn't seem like this is the
biggest leak in
history of journalism.
It only was, this seems
to be a really good story.
FREDERIK: The amount of data
that Bastian and me received
grew and grew.
It was really like an addiction.
I spent night and day
clicking through the data.
FREDERIK: When we then found the
first names of heads of state
heads of government.
We found, you know, the
best friend of Vladimir Putin.
We found the
Icelandic Prime Minister.
Even celebrities.
We always found something that
I thought this is really
worth reporting.
If you find money
tied to Bashar Al-Assad,
and to Vladimir Putin,
and to other dictators,
then you somehow have the
feeling maybe it's not a good
idea that only I know.
Some colleagues
asked us, actually,
are you crazy sharing a scoop?
Giving away something our
newspaper could have alone?
But by sharing, we enabled this
investigation to be something
big and to make our
investigations better.
FREDERIK: So we reached out
to the ICIJ in Washington and
tracked the data.
created 20 years ago,
and we can say that its mission
is to defeat the traditional
model of the lone wolf
investigative reporter.
The lone wolf investigative
reporter is all for herself or
himself, and so ICIJ was created
as a network of investigative
reporters in more than 60
countries who collaborate on
stories that are too complex,
and that need to be told from a
collective perspective, from
a collaborative perspective,
that need to be
told across borders,
in collaboration.
The general
meeting is at 3:45.
I am originally from Argentina.
I went into
journalism fairly young at 18,
decided to be a journalist.
I saw a lot of, uh, inequality
in my country growing up,
a lot of corruption, and I
wanted to do something about it,
but not from an
activist point of view,
but from a
journalistic point of view.
MARINA: When we started
receiving the data from
Sddeutsche Zeitung and
analyzing it and realizing that
it was connected
to 200 countries,
that there were thousands
of public figures and prime
ministers and presidents
and princesses and queens,
and we have to do the biggest
investigation we have ever done
to do justice to this data.
GERARD: I have to admit, my
first thought was skepticism
because I thought, well, we've
done these stories on
off-shore before.
We've done, I
think at that stage,
four or five of them, and I was
wondering how it was gonna be
possible to get all the media
partners interested in doing
another story about off-shore,
but we really had cracked the
Well, even though we had
done previous stories,
we didn't have this kind
of information before,
and I really thought
it was a breakthrough.
EMILIA: 11.5 million documents.
You have all these
complex kind of documents,
some that you familiarize with,
but sometimes you also have
databases within them.
were mostly emails,
PDFs and everything else,
but because there were so many
millions of documents, we had to
make it easy for journalists to
search through them
by using data sets,
for example, all the
clients of Mossack Fonseca,
all the intermediaries,
clients per country,
and so on.
BASTIAN: Every company
has a number and a folder,
so it's very easy to
navigate, actually,
in the original data.
EMILIA: Then we upload it
to a platform that we call
"Blacklight", and
this becomes like,
Google, where
you have a search box.
So you're actually able to
figure out what are some names
of people of public interest in
your country are present in
that data.
GERARD: One big danger here was
that someone was feeding us the
documents and then would perhaps
slip in some false information
into the documents.
We wanted to make sure
that wasn't happening.
We had done some work on
Mossack Fonseca in the past,
so we actually had a set of
documents that we could compare
the information we were
getting from the new source,
the John Doe source,
with what we had before.
So my, you know, early stage
was to to keep questioning
everything and to make sure that
we were jumping every hurdle.
EMILIA: We decided to
reconstruct a database of the
companies and the shareholders
connected to Mossack Fonseca.
It's called Linkurious, and
you just start typing people's
names, or companies' names.
You will get a
circle called a node,
and if you click on
it, it start expanding,
and then you will be able to see
how many companies a person is
connected to or who are the
shareholders behind a company.
MARINA: We literally took
months to make available this
information to the journalists,
and we were making it available
in batches up
until the very end.
I think the last batch of
information of documents was
released perhaps a couple of
months before publication.
MARINA: You don't just call
great reporters that you have
heard of.
You have to call people that you
know you can work with who are
excellent reporters, but
also people that you can trust.
We had been getting to
know the team at McClatchy,
and they ticked every box.
They really wanted
to work as a team.
KEVIN: Who's surprised that
bad guys hide their money?
You know, nobody was
saying that was the surprise.
The surprise is, yeah, you pull
this veil back and you see this
is how they do it.
Everything you
thought was happening,
here's the evidence.
It is.
Yeah, because of...
I'm a former South America
Bureau Chief for the company,
and Mossack Fonseca
is a Latin company,
Latin clients, and so it was
an area that I could help with.
I grew up in-in
Ecuador as a child.
I grew up a little different
than most Americans because I
saw the poverty, I saw kids with
no legs begging in front of the
soccer stadium on Saturdays, and
so you know this different world
exists, but to have it so
spelled out clearly where you
can see.
You can start to see
these connections,
and then the rest of it
is kind of the legwork.
Okay, you know they
have an offshore account,
so what?
You know, what do
you do from there?
What more can you
say about that?
MARISA: Usually as
a, as a reporter,
you have tips, you have some
kind of roadmap of where you
want to go with a story.
With this, we had
absolutely no roadmap.
We weren't the
big guys, you know?
We were the ones who tried to
break stories that the big guys
didn't have.
We were the, the
underdogs, to some degree.
It was also something that
we had to kind of sell to our
company at the time, because
they had decided that they were
gonna shut their
foreign bureaus.
They were
wondering what value,
foreign news would
have to their readers.
Why are people gonna care that
the rich don't pay their taxes
and crooks are crooks?
Everyone knows that.
What he didn't understand is
that this was such an enormous
amount of data, it
was revealing a,
a whole world.
It wasn't just a
story about offshores;
It was, it was the goods.
We had the goods
on how it worked.
nerd about journalism.
I had been a
journalist for over 15 years,
and I look at myself as a
person that wants to be the
pipeline for minority
groups to publish their story,
to ask questions inside the
government and find answers for
those groups.
JHANNES: I got a
call from Marina Walker,
the Deputy Director of ICIJ.
She asked me, do-do you
want to work on a leak?
And we have a lot of
Icelandic names in the leak.
And we have your prime
minister there and his wife.
And at that moment, uh,
everything froze in front of me.
I thought to myself, wow, this
is going to be a bomb here
in Iceland.
Nobody knew about his
offshore company called Wintris.
If you Googled Wintris
before the Panama Papers,
you couldn't find anything, and
the prime minister hadn't been
transparent about his
involvement into the
offshore world.
Ladies and gentlemen, it's a
pleasure for me to be here today
at Iceland Investment Forum.
It takes time for any given
country to resurface from
political turmoil after a
large-scale economic crisis.
We've already made
significant progress,
and I'm convinced that the
policy this government has put
forward is a sound one, and that
is what bring further benefits.
I have to admit that when
you hear the prime minister is
involved, his wife
and other big business,
people in Iceland
very powerful people,
then you start to think
about what will happen?
Hope to see you and
your money in Iceland.
GERARD: At this point,
we continue on to London,
and I met with The Guardian,
because I knew if they were
involved that it'd be easier to
convince other media partners to
get involved.
LUKE: This was a
really important leak.
I think, I think we've had three
super leaks this century so far.
We have Wikileaks where we
got the kind of unmediated view
of the most
powerful country on Earth,
the United States.
biggest leak of U.S.
military secrets ever.
Website Wikileaks hit the
"send" button on some 400,000
documents about the Iraq war.
LUKE: Then we had
Snowden who came along,
who proved that all of our data
is being collected all the time,
that we're being surveilled.
I, sitting at my desk, uh,
certainly had the authorities
to wiretap anyone from you
or your accountant to a federal
judge to even the President,
if I had a personal email.
LUKE: He sort of lifted what I
would call mass surveillance.
And then we had
the Panama Papers.
We had emails, uh, between the
law firm and what they called
their clients, which typically
meant other intermediaries,
banks, lawyers,
accountants all over the world.
We had passport scans and we had
kind of incorporation documents,
we had a lot of postage
stamps from these very
exotic locations.
Pretty much all of it was set up
so that no one can kind of
peer inside.
And, and suddenly, we had a
kind of treasure trove of stuff.
I've been on The
Guardian for about 20 years.
12 years as a foreign
correspondent bouncing around
the world:
Afghanistan, Iraq, Berlin,
and then I was
placed into Moscow,
where I kind of really plunged
into what you might call kind of
post-Soviet muck.
espionage, Vladimir Putin,
his money,
question mark, and so on.
not just going in,
going oh, look, you know, here's
the whole story in black and
white for me.
It's a lot of
detective work, of,
of painstaking piecing together.
You don't just dump stuff.
You find the narratives, you
make them matter to people.
I joined The Guardian in
2011 as telecoms correspondent,
and, because I speak French, I
was pulled into an investigation
into HSBC Bank, and
its Swiss operation,
which was the first ICIJ
investigation that I'd
worked on.
NEWS REPORTER 15: The massive
investigation by media outlets
including France's Le Monde and
Britain's Guardian Newspaper.
They've revealed that HSBC Swiss
private banking arm has helped
thousands of wealthy
clients to evade tax.
JULIETTE: It was a
big story over here,
and then I, I got brought in to
do the Panama Papers a few month
after that.
MATTHEW: I knew that there were
companies in Malta that were
using Mossack Fonseca to set up
companies in Panama for their
clients, but what I never
imagined was that I would find
the name of a
cabinet minister in there.
There were three
companies that were set up.
The names of Konrad Mizzi
and of Konrad Mizzi's wife,
Sai Mizzi, and Konrad
Mizzi's children appeared in
the documentation.
There were never any names given
for the third company, Egrant.
My mother, through a
different sources,
one of who worked in a bank
where documentation related to
this third company was kept,
worked out that the shares were
being held in the name of
the Prime Minister's wife,
Michelle Muscat.
I think that's when we realized
that what we were dealing with
in Malta was a
system of state capture,
that every institution of the
state has been captured by
this gang.
They're laundering money,
they're laundering campaign
funding, and they're going to
go to prison for a long time.
I was sure of that at the time.
WOMAN 1: This is all about
secrecy and the ability to hide
your money, your assets.
LUKE: The rich
and the super-rich,
together with most sort of
multi-national corporations,
essentially exited quietly, sort
of slipped off stage from the
messy business of-of-of
universal taxation some
time ago.
Before I started work
on the Panama Papers,
I thought that
offshore was a kind of small,
minor, who cares, you know,
little aspect of the economic
system we knew
not so much about,
and after reading
the Panama Papers,
I realized it is
the economic system.
It is the system.
Eight trillion dollars
is stuffed in tax havens,
western countries,
including the U.S.,
are losing about 200 billion
dollars a year in tax revenues.
PAUL: We were still
debating, at that time,
whether tax avoidance was a
matter of public interest or
not, or could you simply do
what you liked with your money?
But what it did
establish for us,
the scale of it, it just showed
you there were underground
rivers of money washing around
the globe unbeknownst to
most people.
MARINA: We are writing about an
incredibly damaging part of our
economy that has become so
central and so mainstream that
it's creating French revolution
levels of inequality
and injustice.
And the challenge we have is to
be able to bring this story home
to people, to show them that
this story matters to you,
affects your
life, and guess what?
You are the
victim in this story.
JOHN: Decisions have
been made that
have spared the wealthy,
while focusing instead on
reining in middle and
low-income citizens.
The collective impact of these
failures has been a complete
erosion of ethical standards,
ultimately leading to a novel
system we still call capitalism,
but which is tantamount to
economic slavery.
Hopelessly backward and
inefficient courts have failed.
Judges have too often acquiesced
to the arguments of the rich
whose lawyers, and not
just Mossack Fonseca,
are well-trained in honoring
the letter of the law while
simultaneously doing everything
in their power to desecrate
its spirit.
BEN ON PHONE: Leave your number,
and I will get back to you as
soon as I can.
Thank you very much.
KEVIN: Ben, hey, it's Kevin.
Since we have
outstanding matters,
give me a shout back.
One of the things that is
particularly interesting about
the Panama Papers is you
have all the email traffic,
all these different people who
appear in these email threads
going back and forth on
how to handle something.
You see their personalities
and who in the Compliance
Department, who is more serious
about really cracking down and
the tension between
management and compliance.
So at one point, the
Geneva office basically says,
you know, they-they found that
you've got a Syrian tied to a,
to Bashar Al-Assad whose now
under sanction and everything at
the time of these emails,
and the Geneva office says,
well, HSBC's still working
with him so I don't see why
we shouldn't.
You know, so you kinda
see what their thinking is.
You know, they're willing
to work with bad money,
they just have to
be clean about it.
JACK: The customer said, I need
to do the following in terms of
hiding money.
Will you do it for me?
And Mossack Fonseca,
these are all on the records,
would say sure, we'll give
you a Panamanian corporation,
a trust a bank
account somewhere else,
and not to worry.
Nobody will follow the trail.
So simplified, it would explain
how the system works in a really
understandable way.
I worked on a case involving a
drug trafficker in the
Cayman Islands.
His lawyer in Miami said, go see
Joe Blow in the Cayman Islands
and he'll set you up.
AL: We got
everything a man could want.
JACK: Joe Blow in the Cayman
Islands sets up a corporation,
the corporation
opens a bank account.
The guy who is the drug
trafficker now puts money in the
bank account and lets the lawyer
in Cayman control that
bank account.
There comes a moment
six months later...
You took out the money.
AL: Yeah.
JACK: He wants to move the
money to hide the trail,
and he calls the
lawyer and says,
well, we need another bank
account in the name of another
corporation, and I want
to transfer the money from
Corporation A to Corporation B,
and let's do it so the amounts
don't match.
And then, the moment
comes when he says,
I want to use the money, and
he goes back for the lawyer in
Cayman and he says, we're
gonna have the bank that has the
second transfer lend the money
to the guy's brother who owns a,
massage parlor in Houston.
That way, it'll
look like a loan, non-taxable.
Where did you get it?
I borrowed it.
The whole thing looks
like it's perfectly clean
and perfectly okay.
BASTIAN: Hey, how you doing?
I was kind of skeptical because
I wasn't a big fan of inviting
so many colleagues.
I thought, you know, maybe
50 or 100 really enough,
and we knew around 50 or 100
from previous investigations,
so we trusted them.
JOURNALIST: Do they know
that you got the data?
Or that it's out there
available for someone?
FREDERIK: I wondered if we could
keep this whole project secret.
There's one basic rule,
and that might sound rude,
but it's important.
That's shut up and encrypt.
We always told our colleagues
that you cannot tell anyone.
Not your wife, not
your best friend,
nobody, about this project, and
you have to encrypt everything.
GERARD: You know, my primary
interest at this-this stage of
the investigation was to
establish public interest.
So we only were
interested in public figures.
You know,
politicians, businesspeople,
anyone with a public profile.
And you know, the fastest way to
find that out is to give a set
of documents from Indonesia
to an Indonesian journalist.
Give a set of documents
from Iceland to an
Icelandic journalist.
They would identify pretty
quickly who was worth looking at
on this list and who
wasn't worth looking at.
JOSEPH: I was angry that I had,
nobody had called me,
and I wasn't, I wasn't
You know, I have never
collaborated in a giant thing
like that.
I collaborate
within my newsroom,
sometimes with,
like, one, you know,
an outside group.
Most news
organizations are not global,
and then I think this becomes
much more important because it
seems like more and more,
the best stories are global.
This was like a ringing
affirmation that you can
actually do it, uh, and
you can do it at-at scale.
Then the ICIJ said, for example,
we need somebody in Panama.
And I said, I don't
trust anybody in Panama.
RITA: When I first looked
at the assignment
that we
were going to do, I flipped.
And the first document I
saw, it was an invoice.
That's when I said, oh, my god.
This is huge, because invoices
are probably one of the most,
documents within a law firm,
and then when I see the names of
people I know in the database,
you know, I was really, really,
really scared because I knew
what was coming behind that,
and I knew the consequences that
this was going to have.
WOMAN 2: Rita Vasquez was also a
lawyer in the offshore services
industry for many years,
so when we learned that,
we were fascinated.
We had the opportunity to work
with an insider who understands
this industry from within.
RITA: Seeing my friends and
people that I care for in that
data really made me wanted to
go deeper into the project.
As a newspaper organization,
it is not our duty to tell if a
private person is doing
something wrong with their own
money, but it's our duty to tell
if somebody who had access to
public funds or if
somebody who had,
be part of a government or had
some sort of a jurisdictional
power was doing something wrong.
ROBERTO: The mandate of La
Prensa was to return freedom of
expression to the country as an
infrastructure for democracy.
In the midst of dictatorship.
ROBERTO: But somehow it
worked, and in six months,
we were the newspaper
of record of Panama.
When we sat at our first
editorial meeting after
everything was set
up, we said, well,
how are we gonna handle this?
Do we go softly increasing
our pressure or do we hit 'em
straight in the
face from day one?
We decided the second.
SCOTT: When we
heard Mossack Fonseca,
we knew that we were uniquely
positioned within the project
because I played for the Mossack
Fonseca softball team in
the BVI.
Four of our closest friends
worked for Mossack Fonseca.
And so we had a perspective
that out of the journalists,
there were two people that
knew the inner workings of that
company better than anybody.
My journalism career was never
going to lead to any kind
of greatness.
I was never gonna work
for the New York Times.
You know, I was the English
editor of La Prensa in Panama.
That's not the sort of
things that make a great bio,
and I always compared it to a
career minor league pitcher that
suddenly you get to start
game seven of the World Series.
When you find out
it's world leaders,
it's drug traffickers.
la Reina Del Sur, who is
one of the most famous female
narco-terrorists in
history; Carlos Quintero,
who is described as making
Pablo Escobar look like a baby.
All of these names that
come flooding at you,
and you, your first thought is,
how did they get away with this?
BASTIAN: At least
that's my assumption.
I mean, we've been working on
offshore since, for 2012.
My private
explanation, more or less,
is that I know that the source
had contact with other outlets,
even before me, and they had
not reacted in the way that the
leaker wished they had.
JOSEPH: Some outlets may have
passed just because they tend
not to do giant collaborations.
You're devoting some of your
best people to something that
might take a year.
That, resources are scarce.
Investigative talent on
your payroll is-is scarce,
it's expensive, and you're,
you're taking a leap into
something that,
from the beginning,
you know is not
gonna be an exclusive.
JOHN: The media has failed.
In addition to
Sddeutsche Zeitung and ICIJ,
and despite explicit
claims to the contrary,
several major media outlets did
have editors review documents
for the Panama Papers.
They chose not to cover them.
BASTIAN: There's this probably
frustrated person or those
persons, we don't know,
trying to reach someone that is
actually listening.
LUKE: I mean, there was a flavor
of John Doe's personality.
John Doe was
worried about exposure.
He was also kind of worried
about his own sort of personal
safety, so we
don't know who it is.
It could be a he,
it could be a she.
I don't think it's a they.
KEVIN: I don't
think anyone benefits,
you know, it's kind of death by
a thousand cuts if you give a
little information here, a
little information there,
you end up
compromising your source,
and so I've kind of
pushed back internally,
I think, on that, so that
people are more cautious about
what they say about the source.
JOSEPH: There are lots of good
reasons for sources to be afraid
of talking to the press.
It can be
an enormous risk.
You know,
they can get fired,
they can get
jailed in some places,
they can get killed.
And so, but one of those
reasons is they don't trust the
operational security of the
and sometimes they're right
to be very worried about that,
and they should, you know,
if you're a source out there,
you should do your due
diligence and pick your
journalist carefully.
JOHN: I've watched
as one after another,
whistleblowers and activists
in the United States and Europe
have had their lives destroyed,
and the circumstances they find
themselves in after shining a
light on obvious wrongdoing.
NEWS REPORTER 16: Snowden,
who was holed up in Hong Kong,
wanted in the U.S.,
is now in Russia.
JOHN: Edward Snowden
is stranded in Moscow,
exiled due to the Obama
Administration's decision to
prosecute him under
the Espionage Act.
Bradley Birkenfeld was awarded
millions for his information
concerning Swiss bank UBS,
and was still given a prison
sentence by the
Justice Department.
Legitimate whistleblowers
who expose unquestionable
wrongdoing, whether
insiders or outsiders,
deserve immunity from
government retribution.
WOMAN 3: Because of its
nature, of how global it was,
we all realized that we need
to get together in person,
so Munich was the
perfect place, of course,
because we needed to go to the
home of Sddeutsche Zeitung.
KEVIN: That, itself,
had to stay secret,
so you couldn't say,
"I'm in Munich for X."
People will naturally
ask, well, you know,
what, what are you doing there?
Oh, work meeting or, uh, you had
to come up with something that
didn't sound anything like
what you were doing there.
BASTIAN: The meeting was
kind of the decisive point.
it was more or less our job to
make people enthusiastic about
it and to get them on board.
BASTIAN: I was so nervous.
I hadn't slept for three
nights because it was,
I mean, I was really, really
nervous because I thought if I
mess this up, you know,
then this is the big,
the big chance.
The biggest collaboration of
investigative journalists...
Sitting in front of more than a
hundred journalists showed me
the first time how big this
project already was at
that moment.
JULIETTE: It was like the
United Nations of journalism,
and I've never
experienced anything like it.
We were working on a story,
and we were all working on
it together.
EMILIA: Sorry, well, I'm Emilia.
I'm from Venezuela.
I think...
MARINA: We are not, uh,
forcing you to do this story.
We are not paying
you to do this story.
This is the story, and
you need to invest in it,
and you are only going to get
out of it as much as you put
into it.
BASTIAN: Everybody
was, I'm all in.
I want to know more.
WOMAN 3: It's a time right
now in newsrooms of
great uncertainty.
You know, what will be
the fate of newspapers,
which used to be the
watchdogs of the media.
LUKE: In a time when
everyone is broke,
when no one's clicking the ads,
where Facebook is taking all our
money, where, where
newsrooms are-are just kind of
MARINA: We really had
to convince these media
organizations and these
journalists to work together,
and we often got responses
like, why do we need you?
Or why do we need one another?
We can do it on our own.
And perhaps 10, 15 years ago, it
was pre-media crisis and a lot
of newspapers were
feeling really strong still,
and they still had foreign
correspondents and thought that
they could do it on their own,
but as the crisis in the media
took place, and
stories became more complex,
as technology evolved, it became
obvious that we needed to join
forces, and they learned through
the process how much more
impactful and powerful their
reporting can become when we
work as a collective.
BASTIAN: We immediately realized
the impact of having more people
from different countries inside
the investigation because we had
more, more, more findings.
LUKE: Generally, I would
say we found the anonymous
international rich.
We, we found Spanish royals, we
found a German chicken farmer,
we found a French dentist,
we found people who would,
use fake names when
dealing with their lawyers,
so instead of saying,
you know, you know,
hello, here is Ivan,
you know, they would say,
"Hi, it's Harry Potter."
And, and there
was correspondents,
you know, dear
Harry, your $25,000
has arrived in the Bahamas.
I mean, it was just like the wo-
most weird fishing expedition.
I mean, there were
fish you would expect,
and there was some very ugly,
small fish you didn't expect.
BASTIAN: Whenever I
went into the data,
I found something new.
I found scandals
in Africa, in Latin America.
everyone on the edge of their
seats, Messi going for goal!
He's a man on a mission!
MAN 2: Lionel Messi, his
family fortune,
is in the Panama Papers,
and is now in the courts.
No one in their right mind in
Latin America thought that FIFA
wasn't corrupt.
It was not a surprise to
find the FIFA officials.
That was kind of one of, people
thought was gonna be in there.
Kids are under
contract, 13 or 14,
whether or not they ever become
a pro has very little to do with
their talent level, and more to
do with which lawyer is screwing
what agent in a business deal.
In Lionel Messi, there's no
evidence that he himself had any
hand in any of this, but the
people who handle him and the
whole contracts and
everything, they did.
GIANNI: And we will restore the
image of FIFA and the respect of
FIFA, and everyone in the world
will applaud us and will applaud
all of you for what we'll
do in FIFA in the future.
LUKE: We found Sergey
Roldugin, Putin's best friend,
ostensibly, second-hand
car, not very wealthy,
but we found almost
a billion dollars.
It came from Bank Rossiya, which
is a kind of crony bank from the
regime in Saint Petersburg,
right through to secret offshore
companies, and then a lot of
that cash was recycled back into
Russia, including, um, into
the wedding resort where Putin's
daughter, Caterina,
got married in 2013.
And so from
Russia, what we saw was,
in a way, what you might call
a kind of neo-feudal system.
You could see how not
just Putin's KGB chums were
billionaires, but how the next
generation were accumulating
assets, marrying each other,
dodging American sanctions and
so on.
BASTIAN: I mean, if
you're Vladimir Putin,
you don't go to
Mossack Fonseca and say,
"I want a company in my name."
But you'd probably send
someone that you trust.
And this is exactly
how this world works.
TIM: When you can set up
corporations in such a complex
way and changing ownership.
One woman I looked
into was Leticia Montoya,
a director in
10,969 corporations.
Think about that.
I mean, she doesn't, has no
idea whatsoever what those
corporations do.
RITA: It's just a job,
and she's a secretary.
She, I mean, those who went to
her house could have seen that
she has no money, she lives
in a fisherman community,
not in the city.
I mean, it's not like she
made any money on this.
JACK: This has gone on country
after country after country.
The amounts that are being
pulled out are really at the
expense of average people who
simply can't get services from
their government because
the money's been flat stolen.
JACK: I spoke at a conference
to the Inter-American Bar
Association in
Cochabamba, Bolivia,
and I tried to say, lawyers
job is to keep people honest,
and you shouldn't be helping
them evade the law or break
the law.
My audience began
to laugh at me.
I blew up.
Why do you think you
don't have clean water?
Why do you think
people are so poor?
It's because you, as a
group of professionals,
are teaching people how not to
be participants in your society.
fundamental question I ask is,
well, who makes money off this?
Who makes money
off this industry?
And obviously, Mossack
Fonseca made a lot of money,
and obviously their
clients who avoid taxes,
they make a lot of money, but
banks also make a lot of money,
institutions, Wall Street.
You can't have a major
business if you don't have banks
complicit with your business.
TIM: The banks are certainly a
key cog in this whole mechanism
set up to create distance
between the real owners of the
money and-and-and the
corporations that nominally,
have control over it,
but banks donate a lot to
politicians, and uh,
you know,
there you go.
WOMAN 4: The banks and the
accounting firms and the law
firms, they are basically
spending all of their resources
in trying to damage national
treasuries in creating an
illusion of-of an economic
system that works only for the
1%, and they are working to
deepen that gap between the 1%
and the rest of the world.
WOMAN 4: We found David
Cameron's dad in the data with
his offshore fund.
very relaxed about,
publishing these things.
There's no secrets
about my status.
I am paid handsomely
as your Prime Minister,
and that is my
main source of income,
and I have a house I used to
live in before I moved into
Downing Street, and I rent that
out and I get the income
from that.
I don't have other
sources of income,
so there will be
no surprises,
in terms of my tax
affairs, but I'm very relaxed,
as I've always said.
Nothing's changed.
JULIETTE: It wasn't even a
surprise that his dad had had
a fund.
It's just that he
wouldn't say he had money in it.
In order to not have
the fund taxed in the UK,
you had to have majority of
foreign directors on the company
board, so the third
was Swiss, a third were,
were in the Bahamas, and-and
everything was run out of the
Bahamas, so they had this army
of people just assign things
there, so they
were pretending to,
devise the investment
strategy and trade gold and
bonds and things like that, but
all the instructions were coming
by telephone from London.
MAN 2: One of the thing is we
found is not only did Mossack
Fonseca have a number of Chinese
companies that it registered in
Nevada as shell
companies, some of those,
perhaps, to do business
in the United States,
but more likely than not, to
hide assets somewhere else.
MAN 3: Brazil was one of
the, the hottest things,
and having been a
correspondent there myself,
I was very interested in
working with the Brazilian team.
TIM: We found
payoffs to politicians.
More than $700 million
in bribes had been paid.
MAN 4: Two-thirds of the
country's legislature had been
tied to off-shore companies.
Many of the politicians were
using shell companies through
Mossack Fonseca in Nevada to
hide assets they owned back in,
in Brazil.
Nobody pays a
bribe and says, hey,
here's a bribe.
They do it through
consulting fees,
they do it through
structured investments,
and they do it through shell
companies that pay other
shell companies.
MAN 5: The papers were very
clear that this problem is not
limited to small
countries in Africa.
The problem is huge
here in the United States.
The tax evasion problem is
huge here in the United States.
KEVIN: There were a lot of
Americans in Panama Papers,
so here's this
perception that there weren't.
I think what was missing
was a Putin-type big name,
but the very kind of people
you'd expect to be in the Panama
Papers were in there.
all kinds of SEC
fraud, pump and dump,
penny stocks, and a
lot of hedge funds.
Those kinda guys who need that
anonymity to make that work.
Those guys are in here in
some significant numbers,
and unfortunately,
that's gotten easier,
not harder in the
aftermath of Trump's election.
DONALD: I am officially running
for President of the United
States, and we are going to
make our country great again.
BASTIAN: Having Donald Trump
as the President of the United
States let me feel a little bit
strange knowing that he also had
some offshore deals in his past.
HILLARY: He didn't pay
any federal income tax, so--
That makes me smart.
HILLARY CLINTON: --if he's paid
zero, that's zero for troops--
MAN 3: Trump is obviously
one we were focused on from
the very beginning.
He appeared about
3,450 times that we know of.
That's not to say his partners.
That's just him by name.
The big find was a lot of
documents around the
Panama Hotel project.
NEWS REPORTER 17: Trump Ocean
Club soars over the Pacific and
Panama City.
It's also where criminals,
everywhere from Russian
gangsters to money launderers
for Latin American drug cartels
were able to hide their cash.
MAN 3: There we found contract
information between him and the
developer, Newland.
One of the things I think that
was very helpful in the Panama
Papers is it actually
showed Trump's business model.
It was a contract that
showed how he got paid,
how his name was leased.
This really wasn't
known, and the documents,
here we had
physical proof of how,
you know, how he
arranges things.
former money launderer,
the Trump Ocean Club, how would
you rate it in its quality.
MAN 4: For money laundering?
MAN 4: Oh, I'd say triple A.
JACK: You get
control of the country,
you move your family into all
of the important jobs in the
country, and then you use
that as an opportunity to
enrich yourself.
they credit with Donald Trump's
victory, the President
Elect's own son-in-law,
Jared Kushner.
JACK: What's now
going on is exactly that,
and what I think is also going
on is that our president has
cozied up to any number of these
kleptocrats because he wants
Americans to think
it's the new normal.
NEWS REPORTER 19: The central
figure in the investigations
into Donald
Trump's inner circle,
and possible ties to Russia.
ADAM SCHIFF: It was Manafort...
HIMES: Paul Manafort...
CARSON: Paul Manafort...
NEWS REPORTER 19: Long before he
was president Trump's campaign
chairman, Paul Manafort was
paid millions by a Russian
billionaire with close
ties to Vladimir Putin.
MAN 3: That is the closest we've
been able to get to Manafort.
Manafort seems to have been paid
through companies in Belize.
I've spent a lot of time looking
at these shell companies.
MAN 6: Donald Trump's
friends, people of his cabinet,
advisors, have been active
in the offshore business.
RON: Mister Mnuchin, you ran
a hedge fund for a few years
starting in 2004, and I've been
trying to get my arms around the
Mnuchin web of bank
accounts and shell companies.
They were in Cayman
Islands and Anguilla.
How many employees did
you have in Anguilla?
STEVEN: Treasury
Secretary Nominee
we didn't have any
employees in Anguilla.
RON: How many
customers did you have there?
STEVEN: We didn't have
any customers that resided
in Anguilla.
RON: Did you have
an office there?
STEVEN: We did not have
a office ourselves there.
RON: So you just had
a post office box?
STEVEN: Senator, let
me explain to you, okay?
RON: It's just a
yes or no answer.
I'm already over my time.
Yes or no?
Did you just have a post office?
other senators will defer some
time so I can, I can
answer this for you,
because I think it's
an important issue,
but no, we had--
RON: Mister Chairman, this is...
SENATOR 1: I think he should go
ahead and answer it right now.
SENATOR 2: He should get a
chance to answer the question.
SENATOR 1: Yeah.
RON: I'm very troubled about
this question of how you're
gonna unrig the system if you've
got a record of taking advantage
of tax shelters that, in effect,
have zero percent tax rate.
Thank you, Mister Chairman.
The taxes you pay
are compulsory.
They come out of your paycheck,
you can see it once or twice
a month.
There're no Cayman
Island deals for you,
not, none of those kinda
sweetheart overseas deals for
you the way Steve Mnuchin,
the Treasury Secretary, got.
Then there's another set of tax
rules for the fortunate and the
They can pretty much decide
under the tax law what they're
going to pay, when
they're going to pay it,
and in some
instances, almost nothing.
MAN 6: The problem today
is really that the U.S.
is the best place
to put your assets.
MAN 6: Over the
last couple of decades,
we've seen increasingly that
shell companies registered in
the U.S. are used to
commit all sorts of crimes
from human trafficking
to drug trafficking
to arms dealing.
The list goes on and on.
BASTIAN: Looking to
Delaware, looking to Nevada,
that's a, for example, a
jurisdiction Mossack Fonseca was
very active.
KEVIN: We found a lot of
Brazilians hiding property owned
in Brazil through
Nevada offshore,
so Nevada was being used by
Brazilians in a way that Cayman
Islands, Bahamas might be used
by an American trying to hide
ownership of an asset.
DINA: Well, Nevada has always
had this approach to raising
revenue that we wanna
attack somebody else,
not the people who live here.
Though, back in the '90s, they
decided to become the Delaware
of the west and tried to follow
that example and make it very
easy for shell companies,
LLCs, to be set up there without
having any kind of information
available about who owned them
or who benefited from them.
I said, at the
time, that it was,
might as well hang
up a shingle and say,
"Welcome scumbags and sleaze
balls" because those are the
kind of people who want to
keep their information secret,
but it became a
source of revenue,
so you didn't
have to raise taxes.
DINA: Well, I'm afraid they're
rolling back the protections
that were put in at Dodd-Frank
and a lot of that was about
accountability and transparency.
Banks fought that, so they're
certainly not gonna want to open
it up any further.
MAN 5: You can find tax
havens all around the world.
They are in the
U.S., they are in the UK.
GERARD: Now having done
six of these projects,
I would say with some
certainty that the,
probably the biggest tax haven
in the world is-is Britain,
and its, you know,
its former colonies.
open for business.
We like oligarchs.
I don't want to exaggerate
and say we're just a tax haven,
but you know, the-the state
is-is captured by finance.
behind it is America,
and I think in the future, it
would be great if someone gave
us, you know, Delaware leaks.
We would uncover, you know,
secrets that may be bigger than
anything we've ever done before.
JOHN: I call on the
European Commission,
the British Parliament,
the United States Congress,
and all nations to
take swift action,
not only to
protect whistleblowers,
but to put an end to the global
abuse of corporate registers.
Tax evasion cannot possibly be
fixed while elected officials
are pleading for money from
the very elites who have the
strongest incentives to avoid
taxes relative to any other
segment of the population.
FREDERIK: I was actually
concerned every day about the
security of this whole project
because let's face the facts.
Journalists like to
speak about their work.
GERARD: You know, every
journalist you bring in,
they're probably going to
tell their life partner,
they're probably going to
tell their best friends,
so the risks were going up
exponentially every time you
brought somebody in.
MATTHEW: We were so focused on
the digital part that I think
you forget that a lot of
journalists are going to need to
have interviews
with sources,
they're going to have these
interviews in bars or in cafes
or in public places, and they're
not going to be conscious of the
fact that other people might be
following them or listening to
their conversation.
LUKE: It's funny, really,
because to, generally,
toextract secrets
from a journalist,
you just need to
take the journalist to the bar,
buy the journalist a
beer or maybe two beers,
if they're, if
they're being kind of tricky,
and they will
tell you everything.
MAN 7: My colleagues say, I
haven't seen any stories.
What are you doing?
I say, it's a project.
It's a regional project,
actually worldwide,
and we're just
looking at something.
And they say, well,
when's it coming out?
Well, I couldn't really answer.
JHANNES: You had this in
mind the whole time that one
mistake could
jeopardize the whole project.
RITA: My life,
during all those months,
was kinda like a spy life.
I couldn't tell
them what I was doing,
and I felt awful
because, at the same time,
I was investigating my friends.
I would go to dinner
parties, and during the day,
I was just searching documents
that somehow mentioned them.
EL NORTE: We felt responsible
for their safety and that that
was also something we
repeatedly told our colleagues.
Be aware that there is
colleagues of us out there
risking their life
with this reporting,
and if you tell too much,
you could risk their life.
BASTIAN: In the last weeks
before our publication date,
we had to do everything
to protect our source,
so we stopped all
We destroyed effectively
the-the devices that we used to
communicate with the source.
My iPhone and my computer.
We deleted all
the files with several programs,
so run it over
and over and over until it was
completely flat.
But then, again, we
weren't really sure,
you know, if you
really can trust this,
so, I more or less
took a hammer and started
smashing the things.
We didn't want to throw it away
because we were so paranoid back
then that we thoguh if
someone finds it,
maybe he can do
something with it.
MARINA: The most dangerous
moment in the investigation,
and the most tense moment, when
we start reaching out to people
for comment.
If we have had a year to look at
your bank information and your
company information, we
are not going to surprise you.
BASTIAN: You don't
approach people and say,
listen, the team
of Mossack Fonseca,
you lost all your data.
JULIETTE: The camera
crews for the broadcasters
involved in the project
descended on the offices of
Mossack Fonseca in Panama City
and demanded to talk to someone,
get a statement.
BASTIAN: We sent them an email.
We saw documents that seemed
to indicate that you have many
troubles with your due diligence
and the way you choose
your customers.
BASTIAN: Then it follows,
um, a long list of questions.
Very detailed,
very much to the cases.
So they said, we're not
involved in illegal dealings.
We have never contact with
the customers directly.
We only work with
intermediaries, which are lies.
Well, I've heard, well now,
everything might blow up.
Now it will be hundreds of
lawyers trying to stop our
reporting, hundreds of
people all around the world get
knowledge about
our investigation,
and that's people
like drug lords,
criminals, and of course we
feared that something
might happen.
RITA: It was
very stressful for-for all of us
because at that point, yeah,
we had to call our sources,
we had to call the people
that we were writing about,
and people started to
know more and more and more.
We started to have a
bodyguard because that's when we
received a non-direct
threat by Mossack Fonseca.
So they came and said, you know,
we know you have a journalist
who's helping the
international media,
and she, and she's been
she's been paid for,
and she is trying to
diminish the reputation of
our firm and the country,
and she was gonna have to,
you know,
suffer the consequences.
So the paper
immediately said, you know,
you can't be around
without any protection.
My friends were here.
We go pick them up at
the hotel, and there's,
there is a bodyguard
there driving the car.
So we said, oh,
it's just an Uber.
But we forgot to hide the gun he
had in the middle of the
front seat.
We had to live a double
life and-and that really was
something that changed
our lives from that moment.
most frightening moment for me
shortly before publication was
when I personally had to write
an email to the Kremlin
basically addressing it to "Dear
Mr. Vladimir Putin" and laying
out what we found in regards to
this net of companies around his
friend Sergei Roldugin that was
funneling hundreds of millions
of dollar out of Russia,
and I've never written an
email to Vladimir Putin before.
Some days later,
Vladimir Putin's spokesperson,
Mr. Peskov, did a
press conference in Moscow.
documents show nothing
about Mister Putin.
Everything that was,
interconnected with our
president, was
written by newspapers.
It was written by
journalists without having
obvious facts for that.
clear to me, oh, shit.
He's speaking about that
email I sent some days ago.
DMITRY: And now we're
understanding this is nothing
else by, but a
reflection of,
let's say, an
Putin-aphobia disease that
unfortunately has quite spread
now in lots of media.
FREDERIK: It was clearly obvious
that the Kremlin was pissed off.
MARINA: We got a lot of legal
threats and there were so many.
They were really piling up.
Everyone that we contacted
recruited the best lawyers to
threaten ICIJ, to try to, um,
get us to show them documents,
to try to get us to
not publish the story.
SCOTT: Drug trafficking,
income inequality, poverty.
You look at those
problems in the world,
and a lot of the keys to
addressing those problems are in
the Panama Papers.
Even though you feel like you,
you may wake up one day and-and
have somebody in your
bedroom pointing a gun at you,
you feel like youhave to
keep going on this because it's
too important.
coming from Iceland,
I knew that if I would
start asking questions about the
offshore company of
the Prime Minister,
early, then all the alarm
bells would ring inside the
government and inside the
institutions here in Iceland.
So we had to find
a way to get
the reactions from the
Prime Minister on camera.
So we decided after a
lengthy talk about the ethical
issues, to confront him.
Mister Prime Minister,
what can you tell me about
a company called Wintris?
Well, it's a company of,
if I recall correctly, which
is associated with one of the
companies that I,
was on a board of,
and, it was a,
hadan account which as I,
as I mentioned, has
been with the tax,
on the tax account
since it was established.
So now I'm starting to feel a
bit strange about this question
because it's like you are
accusing me of something when
you are asking me about a
company that has been on my--
JOURNALIST: Let, let--
tax return from
the beginning.
it must be okay for me as a
journalist to ask the Prime
Minister about personal--
Yes, sure.
But you are indicating that
I have not paid, taxes on it.
just asking you questions.
JOURNALIST: So, so, uh,
to go into the details,
I would like my partner to do
it in Icelandic because I don't
have the details,
uh, to discuss it.
between the interview and the
publication was
a stressful time.
The wife of
the Prime Minister,
she posted a Facebook
status talking about some
attacks from the media.
Soon, I realized that, uh, we
shouldn't be afraid because we
had all the materials,
we had the interview,
uh, and uh, I
talk, I told my staff,
you know, just relax because we
are going to publish this and,
uh, it will be big.
PAUL: We were utterly convinced
that night that we were gonna
light the Blue Torch Paper
despite nobody going beforehand,
there was still an
air of expectancy.
People knew a big
story was coming.
LUKE: What was weird was about
ten minutes before we were due
to press send, Edward Snowden
tweeted out a link to the
English language website of
Sddeutsche Zeitung MAN 4: The
people who follow him
then were alerted to this,
and that's a
pretty wide universe.
JULIETTE: Gerard Ryle,
the Director of the ICIJ,
is hammering the phones getting
everyone to just hold
their nerve.
GERARD: I thought it was very
important that we all hold the
line, that what was
happening with the press
conference from the Kremlin and
what was happening in Iceland at
the time where parts of the
story were getting out through
Facebook, through the
Icelandic Prime Minister's wife,
like there was a
lot of nervousness,
and I really thought
that all of these events,
all of these small
things happening,
even though, you know, we
were being talked about a week
beforehand, no one
really knew the bigger story.
JULIETTE: You know, I'm, uh,
describing it a bit like a,
a general standing at the top
of the hill holding back the
troops, you know, waiting as
the opposing army approaches,
approaches, you
know, hold, hold, hold, go!
When that day hits,
things happen
fairly quickly.
NEWS REPORTER 20: The so-called
Panama Papers now exposing the
secret financial dealings of
politicians and celebrities.
the world's most powerful
politicians, wealthy business
owners and popular celebrities
are now desperately trying to
distance themselves from the
fallout and consequences
of the Panama Papers.
MARISA: There was an immediate
response on social media.
MAN 8: They're
all on the inside,
we are out on the
street looking in.
MARINA: This thing exploded and
took an entire life of its own.
NEWS REPORTER 22: We turn now
to the banking bombshell causing
shockwaves around the world.
Panama Papers...
NEWS REPORTER 25: The Panama Papers...
NEWS REPORTER 26: The Panama Papers.
GEORGE: What may be the largest
leak of secret documents
in history.
NEWS REPORTER 27: A blockbuster
release of millions of
financial documents.
the biggest attack on the tax
shelter industry.
It's a trillion dollar industry.
It is a trillion
dollar industry.
France, Australia, Mexico,
all say they're
going to investigate.
ROBERTO: When it blew up, I
had no idea the size of
the situation.
NEWS REPORTER 30: Panama Police
have raided the offices of the
law firm at the center of the
country's massive data leak.
JACK: Now the problem is can the
various judicial systems of the
world handle all of this
material without getting a
horrendous case of indigestion?
JRGEN: We have always dealt
with professional clients all
over the world, only.
RITA: After the publication,
the example they gave it,
we were like a knife
factory, you know?
We sell the knives.
If people kill, kill
other people with knives,
it is not our fault.
The problem is they always knew
who had the knives and what were
they gonna do with the knives.
firm is denying any wrongdoing.
RITA: When we'd realized how big
it was was when we saw people
going out in the streets.
NEWS REPORTER 33: Thousands of
Icelanders took the streets,
calling on the Prime Minister to
resign following allegations he
benefited from offshore
holdings and tax havens.
NEWS REPORTER 34: The first
casualty of the Panama Papers
has fallen.
Prime Minister of Iceland
yielded his post on Tuesday amid
public uproar that he failed to
disclose links to an
offshore company.
NEWS REPORTER 35: Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif, he may be thrown
out of office over allegations
that his family owned several
illegal offshore businesses.
NEWS REPORTER 36: Corruption and
bribery at the highest level
on the streets of Rio Sao Paulo
and dozens of other cities.
Protestors laid the blame at
the door of President
Dilma Rousseff.
MAN 8: Every day
there is a new scandal.
Every day there is something
related to money being taken out
of the country.
NEWS REPORTER 37: We have some
breaking news from Brazil where
the senate there has voted to
impeach President Dilma Rousseff
and plunges the country
into political chaos.
KEVIN: Look at Brazil.
That's probably the country
where the Panama Papers has had
the most impact.
KEVIN: Iceland got the
headlines with the president.
The entire ruling
structure of Brazil is crumbling
because so many of them are
tied into this money
laundering scheme.
NEWS REPORTER 38: Protestors
in the Argentine capital Buenos
Aires are calling for the
country's president to step down
after the so-called Panama
Papers revealed Mauricio Macri
is on the board of two offshore
firms: One in the Bahamas,
the other in Panama.
thousand people filled a square
in Malta's capital on Sunday,
and demanded the resignation of
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
MATTHEW: My mother
was in Malta alone,
fighting this with no, no
one backing her at all.
No institution.
GERARD: Daphne had been working
on a number of post-Panama
Paper stories.
She wasn't involved in the
Panama Papers investigation
itself, but she had taken our
reporting and gone further.
KONRAD: Good evening.
Um, today, the,
yesterday's piece...
KONRAD: There are
no bank accounts,
uh, no, no, no funds.
KONRAD: And there are
absolutely no funds.
Thank you.
MATTHEW: When the story
broke, they didn't resign.
I mean, I couldn't believe it.
I could see, I mean, it was like
a disaster unfolding in
slow motion.
NEWS REPORTER 40: British Prime
Minister David Cameron faces
backlash for implications in the
recently leaked Panama Papers.
JULIETTE: And that's when things
in the UK just went
really crazy.
LUKE: There was
turmoil in this country.
David Cameron had
the worst week.
DAVID: Thank you,
Mister Speaker.
Thank you, Mister Speaker.
With permission, I would like to
make a statement on the
Panama Papers.
Dealing with my own
circumstances first,
yesterday I published all the
information in my tax returns,
not just for the last year,
but for the last six years.
I've also given additional
information about money
inherited and given to me by
my family so people can see the
sources of income that I have.
This is an entirely
standard practice,
and it is not to avoid tax.
the Prime Minister for the
advance site of his statement.
It is absolutely a masterclass
in the art of distraction.
JULIETTE: He refused to say
whether he had any money in his
father's offshore fund.
PAUL: He'd gone
on record saying,
we've gotta end
secrecy about tax avoidance.
He'd gone on record saying we've
gotta shine a light on where
this money comes from.
DAVID: Some of these schemes
where people are parking huge
amounts of money offshore
and taking loans back to just
minimize their tax rates, it
is not morally acceptable.
PAUL: So he then
had to come out,
and this was the fourth or fifth
explanation over a period of
three days,
saying, well, actually,
I did benefit from the shares.
DAVID: Samantha and I
had a joint account.
We owned, uh, 5,000
units in Blaire Moore,
uh, Investment Trust, which we
sold in January, uh, 2010.
Uh, that was worth
something like 30,000 pounds.
Was there a profit on it?
I paid, um,
income tax on the dividends,
but there was
a profit on it,
but it was less than the
capital gains tax allowance,
so I didn't pay
capital gains tax,
but it was subject to all the
UK taxes in all the normal ways.
WOMAN 3: A few months
later, Britain was gonna hold a
referendum on whether to
leave the European Union.
NEWS REPORTER 41: People of
Britain have spoken,
voting for a British
exit, dubbed Brexit,
with almost 52% of the
votes choosing to leave the 28
member European Union.
NEWS REPORTER 41: And Cameron
was the figurehead for Romaine,
but the British press is
dominated by press barrons who
wanted us to leave, and it
suited their agenda to destroy
the figurehead for Romane.
DAVID: On Wednesday, I would
attend the House of Commons for
Prime Ministers, answer
questions, and then after that,
I expect to go to the
Palace and offer my resignation,
so we'll have a new Prime
Minister in that building behind
me by Wednesday evening.
Thank you very much.
PAUL: Cameron helped to create
this moral atmosphere which
said, look, this behavior is
wrong and should not be helped
by the laws that we have
in existence at the moment.
MAN 8: The documents show allies
to Russian President Vladimir
Putin secretly shuffled as much
as $2 billion through
banks and shadow companies.
PAUL: Day one, of course,
was Vladimir Putin and the two
$2 billion worth of
money that led back to him,
which was a remarkable story.
It's been one of international
journalism's holy grails,
really, that story.
JOHN OLIVER: The papers revealed
the identity of a suspiciously
rich cellist, which raises
immediate red flags for me,
'cause I always thought the
only way to make millions with a
cello is to use it
to dig for gold.
LUKE: You know, he's basically
saying we're all spies.
We scheme dastardly stuff to
try and defame the
Russian Federation.
Now, of course
that isn't the case,
and if it were a CIA plot--
LUKE: --how come David
Cameron got sucked in?
How come demonstrations
in Iceland
and Argentina?
the hilarious thing,
you know, is that Putin ended
up having to buy lots of cellos.
Roldugin bought lots of cellos
because he said it was for
buying cellos, so they went and
bought a lot of cellos after.
MARISA: This wasn't on
official news in Russia.
Unless you were
looking at foreign media,
you had no idea that
the Panama Papers broke.
The officials who were
implicated in these documents
would retaliate
against journalists.
It's real.
Journalists have been killed.
NEWS REPORTER 42: A car exploded
in flames in the Ukrainian
capital of Kiev early Wednesday
morning inside a prominent
journalist, Pavel Sheremet.
MAN 9:
NEWS REPORTER 42: An eye witness
to the blast says several people
tried to pull Sheremet from
the car, but it appeared
he was already dead.
LUKE: In Russia,
journalists, um,
both in the big
cities and the provinces,
get killed, shot,
beaten to death.
Roman Anin who works
for Novaya Gazeta,
he was kind of
instrumental in, in chasing the,
following the money all the way
to Putin and making that kind
of connection.
FREDERIK: The Kremlin pretty
soon found out who our Russia
partners are, so there
was TV programs that were,
that basically
screamed something like,
"Wanted" posters of the two of
them putting out information,
um, on them, detailed
information that could lead
people to the place where they
work or potentially where
they live.
They, to a certain point,
left Russia for a while.
RITA: We were
treated as, uh, traitors.
There were publications all
over the social networks and
everywhere blaming us
for selling our country,
blaming us for treason.
Theywere people saying,
"What should we do with a
traitor journalist?"
with our names.
They said, well, should we
throw them off the bridge of
the canal?
Should we send
them to Punta Coco,
which is equivalent of
Alcatraz for Panama,
or should we just
send them to La Joya,
which is a maximum
security prison.
JOSEPH: This sort of thing
is happening
a lot of, a lot of
places in the world,
it's absolutely terrifying.
Me personally, I've been
physically threatened,
I've been
threatened with lawsuits.
Um, but I'm really lucky.
I, you know, I work
in the United States.
It's really bad form to
kill a journalist here.
Investigative journalism is hard
enough without having to worry,
do all that kind
of moral math, um,
physical risk.
It's something that war
correspondents are used to doing
all the time.
In a way, it kind of feels
like we're all war
correspondents now.
MARINA: This just shows how
vulnerable reporters around the
world working on
corruption issues are.
One answer to that vulnerability
is working in networks and
in teams.
You can't take
down 376 reporters.
the Panama Papers,
reporting that explored the
hidden infrastructure and global
scale of offshore tax havens...
PRESENTER: The Pulitzer Prize
and explanatory reporting goes
to... The International
Consortium of Investigative
Journalists, McClatchy
and the Miami Herald.
MARISA: Just the idea that
we were able to-to finish the
Panama Papers despite all of the
doubts and publish it along with
all of these other
reporters all across the world.
JHANNES: And it felt so
surreal because the Pulitzer is
something you always
dream of as a journalist,
but as a German journalist, it's
something that you can normally
not reach.
GERARD: It's nice to show that
journalists can actually work
together, and I think that's
something that we always thought
would never happen.
You know,
journalists are selfish,
we don't share stories,
we don't share sources.
We've just proven
that that's wrong,
that, in fact, you can get a
better story sometimes if you
do, if you do share.
MAN 9: You do need big,
international teams to cover
big, international topics.
KEVIN: Then it cleared the way
for us to spend the rest of the
year really doing the kind of
stuff that you couldn't do on
the first day, but were just
as important as the first
day stories.
FREDERIK: I thought that this
would be the time that we can
refocus and go into the stories
we hadn't yet the time to
finish, but then we heard this
terrible news from Malta where
Daphne Galizia, um, was
killed in a-a car bombing.
NEWS REPORTER 43: The son of
the investigative journalist,
Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was
killed in a car bomb attack in
Malta has attacked the island
as a mafia state run by what he
called crooks.
His 53-year-old mother,
who was killed yesterday,
was known for her blog accusing
politicians of high-level
corruption and she led the
Panama Papers investigation into
corruption on the island.
MAN 10: We couldn't have been
more shocked when-when we found
out that Daphne, you
know, Matthew's mother,
had been blown up.
I mean, it just seemed so
senseless and-and crazy.
MATTHEW: It was,
the message was,
look, we can, we can do this
and we can get away with it.
We have, there's no deterrent.
We can strike whoever we want,
whenever we want and get away
with it.
GERARD: The fact that
she was killed in Malta,
you're talking about
a European country.
That really shocked not
just us, but also the world.
JACOB: You know, this,
what happened to Daphne,
it-it never, we never thought
anything could happen in Malta.
Daphne was, you
know, very much a,
a fearless investigator.
You know, a, a lone, a
lone voice in a sense.
She was very frustrated
with-with mainstream media.
I don't know.
People just gravitated
towards her blog naturally.
JULIETTE: Daphne was
fierce, and she was a blogger,
so she had a lot more freedom
than newspaper journalists in
terms of expressing her
opinion, and she used it.
DAPHNE: My article went
up at 7:00 in the evening,
and two and a half hours
later, by half past nine,
the police are already at my
gate with a warrant for my
arrest issued by a magistrate
within two and a half hours.
The police cannot understand why
I will not abide by the law and
sit at home quietly and not
write anything about politics.
FREDERIK: She was one addressing
things many politicians did not
want to hear.
She wrote about corruption
at the highest levels
of government.
You know, I
mean I always get,
like, you know,
the-the usual people,
"Don't worry, the
truth will come to light.
Good always wins.
There will be justice."
My mother always
thought that was bullshit.
wasn't just outspoken.
She was effective, and I think
that's why she's-she's
been killed.
What was
particularly shocking was that,
for some people, um, this
assassination was a-a cause
of celebration.
One police officer actually
tweeted that he was pleased that
this had happened and-and called
her "cow dung" the day after,
so you know, there wasn't
universal condemnation of this
act in Malta.
Perhaps there should have been.
NEWS REPORTER 44: A court in
Malta has charged three men with
the murder of
Daphne Caruana Galiza.
Maltase media say the
authorities honed in on the
suspects following
telephone intercepts.
Police arrested 10 men on on
Monday in connection with
the killing.
Seven have been released on
bail pending further inquiries.
MAN 11: It was
just all a big show.
MATTHEW: I am quite confident
that they were the people who
executed the orders to
assassinate my mother,
but my mother never
wrote about them,
she never investigated them,
she had no idea who they were.
They've probably never
even read what she wrote.
JACOB: They may have the
people who-who pushed a button,
who-who, you know,
who set off the bomb,
but they're definitely
not the masterminds,
and they definitely, you know,
wouldn't have had the motive to
do it, so the big
question is, you know,
who ordered this
kill, and ultimately,
who paid them, as well?
MAN 10: The way it was done,
it was also a way of getting
sources to stop talking.
founders of Panamanian law firm
Mossack Fonseca were arrested
after both were indicted on
charges of money laundering.
ROBERTO: Porcell, I think, is
trying to do what has to be
done, but the judiciary, which
is where she has to deposit
her investigations, has zero
credibility at this point.
If you talk to Panamanians
out there about this,
the reaction is
"No pasa nada"...
Nothing will happen.
I don't think that's right.
I think that
something will happen.
We have an ex-president of
the Supreme Court in jail.
We have an
ex-president in jail in Miami.
I mean, there are
things happening.
I feel that
somewhere along the way,
in incremental bits, we'll
be solving these problems.
It's just a, a human problem
that we have to face all over
the world.
not only about Panama,
that's a worldwide problem,
and if it should get solved,
it's something that has to
be addressed in the U.S.,
as well.
KEVIN: One of the things
that led to change on the U.S.
end that both Nevada and Wyoming
changed their laws based on some
of what we were able to show
about these nominee directors
that really weren't contacts.
And the UK government is now
supporting efforts to force
transparency in overseas
tax havens that do that by
introducing public registries
across the
commonwealth countries.
WOMAN 5: Panama Papers
hasn't ended yet.
It's still going.
Every week, there's a new
Panama Papers development.
Reporters are still in the
database and are still searching
and still finding
things that we missed.
MARISA: While there have been a
lot of investigations launched,
including in the U.S., and there
have been a number of people all
across the world who
have been arrested,
there has been an element of
inaction in areas that really
matter, reform that would
prevent these offshores from
being created in the
way they are created.
There was a lot
of talk about it,
but yet, that hasn't
happened in a significant way.
MAN 10: I think history has
shown that as important as
Panama Papers are in revealing
this kind of underbelly of
global finance and how it
ties into the whole inequality
question, I think it also
will probably lead to a
better mousetrap.
GERARD: Will the scams go on?
Will there be new ways found?
Yes, of course.
You know, they, it-it, you know,
the world will probably just get
a bit more sophisticated.
MATTHEW: There's a democratic
backsliding in the world in
general, and I think that this
is taking journalism down
with it.
It's kind of strange
that, at that same time,
it's a golden age for
investigative journalism.
Our work has never been
as important as it is now.
JOHN: But when it
takes a whistleblower to sound
the alarm, it is cause
for even greater concern.
It signals that democracy's
checks and balance have all
failed, that the
breakdown is systemic,
and that severe instability
could be just around the corner.