October 06, 2021

African Leaders Implicated in Pandora Papers

The largest international data leak in recent history is making waves as it exposes the hidden financial dealings of the rich and powerful.

The cache of documents, a 2.94-Terabyte collection of approximately 11.9 million files called the “Pandora Papers”, was leaked on Sunday, 3 October. So far, the derived financial information comes from 91 countries, and names 35 current and past political leaders, celebrities and other prominent persons.

The data dump links those named to offshore accounts illegally set up – and undeclared – in tax havens such as Panama, Dubai, Monaco, Switzerland and the Cayman Islands, among other corrupt activities.

Several African heads of state have also been mentioned, including Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, Gabon president Ali Bongo Ondimba, and the Republic of Congo president, Denis Sassou-Nguesso.

Kenyatta and his family allegedly have 13 overseas companies worth $30 million, while both Sassou-Nguesso and Ondimba have alleged ownership of sham companies based in the British Virgin Islands – each politician and their respective administrations have rejected the accusations.

A similar event, in which sensitive documents named the “Panama Papers”, which exposed global political corruption, occurred on 3 April 2016.

More details will emerge as investigative journalists analyse the Pandora Papers cache.