Panama Papers: Rich and powerful respond to claims they hid billions offshore

Panama Papers: Rich and powerful respond to claims they hid billions offshore
(Image: Sergei Karpukhin/File-Pool Photo via AP)

Elected leaders and top officials from around the world are responding with denials and outrage to allegations that they used secret offshore companies and accounts to hide billions of dollars.

The media reports, based on a massive leak of documents, allege the existence of a clandestine network involving associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and business ties between a member of FIFA’s ethics committee and men indicted for corruption.

The Kremlin has dismissed the allegations as “a series of fibs” aimed at discrediting Putin ahead of elections, while the FIFA official has described them as “ridiculous” and “outrageous.” But some governments are acting on the information — the U.K., France, Australia and Mexico have pledged to investigate for possible cases of tax evasion.

Several news organizations published reports Sunday drawing on more than 11 million documents leaked from a law firm in Panama that allegedly helped set up secret shell companies and offshore accounts.

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