The release of a massive database of clients of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca – dubbed the Panama Papers – showed how some of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful people hid their cash.
It caused ructions around global business and politics, identifying the cello-playing best pal of Vladimir Putin as a client and claiming the scalp of Iceland’s prime minister. It also embroiled British prime minister David Cameron in the affair over his father’s dealings with the firm.
Of course, there were many Australian clients on the list as well.
The client list includes Li Ka Shing, whose $US31.1 billion fortune was not troubled by his $396 million fight with the Australian Tax Office; Thomas and Raymond Kwok, whose Hong Kong property empire (which includes Wilson Parking and Wilson Security in Australia) is valued at $US14.7 billion; Hui Ka Yan, whose Evergrande Real Estate group is worth $US9.8 billion; and Chinese billionaire Liang Guangwei, a former People’s Liberation Army soldier and head of a state-backed technology conglomerate who recently bought a $64 million block of land next to the new headquarters of the Australian spy agency.
The leaked data also gives an insight into the inner workings of Mossack Fonseca and its approach to handling client money and working with authorities.
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