ICIJ/OCCRP Panama Papers project yields unprecedented access to high level offshore corruption

Published: 03 April 2016



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.

The Panama Papers are documents obtained from a Panama-based offshore services provider called Mossack Fonseca.

The documents were received by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

OCCRP will launch a series of stories based on the Panama Papers at 2000 CEST, today, Sunday 3rd April. Both OCCRP and ICIJ will continue to publish new stories over the course of the next few days.

The stories reveal the shocking extent to which senior political figures and other powerful people are using sophisticated offshore structures to hide their vast wealth. Hundreds of politicians, business people and sportspersons are implicated.

Stories to be published today include:

  • “The Caretaker” - Sergey Rodulgin is Vladimir Putin's oldest friend. The famous cellist tells everyone he's not a millionaire. That’s quite true – instead, he’s a billionaire, with his assets managed by people close to Putin.
  • Ukrainian President Poroshenko’s use of a secret offshore holding company in the British Virgin Islands to protect his confectionery empire and minimize his tax liability.
  • Ivan Malyushin, deputy head of Russia's Department for Presidential Affairs, held an offshore for five years, and cultivated a strong business relationship with organized crime boss Gennady Petrov.
  • Russia’s offshore patriots – a cabal of elite Russian government officials, including the President’s spokesman Dimitry Peskov and Minister of Economic Development Alexey Ulyukaev, who have hidden offshore companies in Panama and the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
  • An epic three-year search for the passport and proof of address of former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili – needed to satisfy anti-money laundering regulations.




The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) is a not-for-profit, joint program of a number of regional non-profit investigative centers and for-profit independent media stretching from Eastern Europe to Central Asia.

Stories are being published by ICIJ and OCCRP. Stories will be published on OCCRP’s website (https://www.occrp.org) in English and Russian. To follow new stories find us on Twitter (@OCCRP) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/OCCRP.org).

Syndication or republication of OCCRP’s stories must link to and credit the organization. Please also embed our logo, which can be found here: https://www.occrp.org/reprints/panamapapers.partner.png. You can replace “partner” with the name of your media organization

The Twitter hashtag associated with the project is #PanamaPapers.

For comment on specific stories or OCCRP’s involvement in the wider project please contact Drew Sullivan at drew@occrp.org. For more general information about OCCRP, please contact Tom King at tom@occrp.org.