A huge leak of 11.5 million documents from a Panama law firm reveals how the world's rich including Russian President Vladimir Putin hide their money, Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung said Sunday.
The law firm, Mossack Fonseca, one of the world's most secretive offshore law firms, said it had operated with impunity for decades in its efforts to help clients launder money and avoid tax.
The documents, dubbed the Panama Papers, were obtained by the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, a daily newspaper based in Munich. It shared them with the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and other news outlets, including the BBC and The Guardian.
"2.6 terabytes of data, 11.5 millions documents, and 214,000 shell companies: The Panama Papers are the largest data leak journalists have ever worked with," Sueddeutsche tweeted Sunday.
The documents link current and former leaders, including longtime Egyptian autocrat Hosny Mubarak and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, to illicit financial transactions.