Pandora Papers: Exposing the Complex World of Offshore Finances with Context
Billed as “an offshore data tsunami”, the Pandora Papers has exposed the growing need for Decision Intelligence.
According to the many and growing number of global media reports, such as those featured in The Guardian, the BBC, The Washington Post and The Sydney Morning Herald, the latest leak documents released by The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (“ICIJ”), known as the Pandora Papers, are being called the “biggest trove of leaked offshore data in history.” Off the back of the release, multiple countries including Spain, Mexico, Panama, Pakistan, India, Brazil, the UK and Australia have also said they will now investigate the Pandora documents.
Billed as “an offshore data tsunami” by the ICIJ, the leak data has exposed the people and institutions who allegedly use offshore jurisdictions to complete activities, such as purchase property, and use financial products such as Trusts – among other activities – to help provide some distance between the generation of funds (illicit and legitimate) and the ultimate beneficial owners – those that take reap the benefit.
The largest trove of leaked offshore data in history
From legal tax mitigation to corruption, money laundering, the management of stolen artworks and smuggled antiquities, the Pandora Papers and the stories that are already emerging from over 600 global journalists who spent two years analyzing nearly three terabytes of documents, provide a detailed insight into the complex and highly interconnected world of offshore finance and the individuals who use them – for both legal and illicit purposes.
According to the ICIJ and OCCRP, those reported in this latest leak include, “more than 330 politicians and 130 Forbes billionaires, as well as celebrities, fraudsters, drug dealers, royal family members and leaders of religious groups around the world”. For example, according to a snapshot of the BBC, So far, the stories looking at Politically Exposed Persons include:
The prominent UK political donor who was involved in one of Europe’s biggest corruption scandals
The King of Jordan’s £70m spending spree on properties in the UK and US through “secretly owned” companies
Azerbaijan’s leading family’s hidden involvement in property deals in the UK worth more than £400m
The Czech prime minister’s failure to declare an offshore investment company used to purchase two French villas for £12m
How the family of Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta’s secretly owned a network of offshore companies.
How to deliver greater transparency with advanced analytics
While the legitimacy and legality of high-profile public and private individuals using less than transparent financial products, companies and jurisdictions will be hotly debated again in the coming weeks, what’s clear is that the current drive for greater transparency and insight into beneficial ownership needs to be accelerated globally. This is particularly key where it involves offshore shell or shelf companies, real estate, investments or even art or antiquity trading.
As part of helping global financial services and governments identify the hidden relationships and influences behind companies and transactions used for illicit purposes, many institutions are increasingly turning to technologies such as Decision Intelligence (DI).
This is an approach to data that enables organizations to connect multiple internal and external data sets to provide a much–needed single view of customers and counterparties enriched with intelligence about the relationships between people, organizations and places. Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform achieves this holistic view of customers and counterparties using:
Entity Resolution: Allows you to create a single view of your customers and their relationships across your organization using internal and external data sources. Entity resolution helps streamline the vast amounts of data that investigators and the detection engines must sift through.
Network Generation: Algorithms analyze the gathered information to create a dynamic view of relevant connections, entities, and data. Network Generation reveals previously hidden connections and behaviors that would have gone unnoticed.
Minimize the risk of exposure with context
Understanding customer context, particularly in the higher-risk areas of financial services, is key to not only automatically gathering data, and dramatically improving the consistency of KYC-led insights, but also helps in minimizing the risk of exposure and reputational risk that comes with the inevitable fall-out from this latest – but by no means last – data leak.