29 July 2016
It is now almost four months since the revelations of the ‘Panama Papers’ – a massive leak of more than 11.5 million financial and legal records from the law firm Mossack Fonseca – exposed an elaborate system of fraudulent shell companies with concealed ownership that allow the wealthy to hide money owed to the public.
Although laws have also been enacted in a number of countries to ensure greater transparency and accountability including the United States , New Zealand and a number of African countries, the focus of media and public attention has been on rich and famous individuals, world leaders, high profile sportsmen and wealthy business leaders.
Concern is growing that an opportunity to address the far more serious problem of widespread, routine corrupt business practice is being missed.
Global Finacial Integrity estimates that opacity in the global financial system, thanks to tax haven secrecy, anonymous companies, trade-based money laundering, and lax financial crime enforcement, drains at least US$1.1 trillion per year out of developing and emerging economies—more than these countries receive in foreign direct investment or foreign aid combined. This global shadow financial system bleeds the world’s poorest economies and propels crime, corruption, and tax evasion.
Visit the JustAct website to sign a petition urging the Australian government to take action to address this issue.