Panama Papers: Is That It?

Nika Jazaee wonders how much we have still not been told – and why.

So that’s it, then. The prime minister of Iceland was obliged to resign, David Cameron experienced a few awkward moments – largely because he was economical with the actualite when he didn’t even need to be; and then it’s back to business as usual.

Apparently.

Released last month, the Panama Papers afforded us ‘little people’ a direct view on how the world’s wealthiest use offshore tax havens to avoid paying tax and elude their financial responsibilities.

There was a well-publicised list of ‘persons of interest’, including a close friend of Vladimir Putin, the cousins of Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad, and the brother-in-law of China’s prime minister Xi Jinping.

A cast of characters who are one step removed from national leaders who are themselves one step removed from the West’s inner circle of initiates.

Can it really be so cut and dried, with nothing coming closer to home than a few moments when our Dave looked slightly dodgy (only to recover his position without losing even a night’s sleep)?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the people on the persons of interest list were innocent. I’m saying that the list looks a little on the short side.

Likewise, the short list of places deemed guilty of doubtful deals. So short it makes the long list of other financial centres, including our own Canary Wharf, look squeaky clean.

Really? Call me a conspiracy theorist but I don’t believe that the appetite for corrupt financial dealings is confined to a few bad apples – or even a few hundred of them, as featured in the expurgated version currently on release.

It seems to me that a whole lot of selection has been going on. If the Panama Papers had stayed in the news, and, more importantly, if investigative journalists had put all the data out into the public domain, I bet there would be many more in the dock, much closer to home.

I stand with the 95 per cent cited in this Tweet issued by Wikileaks.

nika tweet

It’s time to release the whole story: no ifs, buts, or cuts.