by The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
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Data Sources

Details on the four leaks that populate this database

The ICIJ Offshore Database shows relationships and networks among people or companies and offshore entities. Consider this database like a corporate registry where you can check information about a company and the people who played a role in that entity at a certain point in time. Roles include being a director, a shareholder, a beneficial owner, a trustee, among others.

The database was first released on June 14, 2013. More records were added on January 23, 2014 (from ICIJ’s China Leaks investigation), on May 9, 2016 (from ICIJ’s Panama Papers investigation) and on September 21, 2016 (from ICIJ’s Bahamas Leaks investigation), making it the largest ever release of information about offshore companies and the people behind them. In November, 2017 ICIJ released data from the Paradise Papers Appleby and some politicians featured in the Paradise Papers investigation.The Offshore Leaks database contains information on almost 520,000 offshore entities and covers nearly 70 years from 1950 to early 2016.

The sources of this database are four massive leaks received by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The largest one comes from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, one of the world’s top creators of hard-to-trace companies, trusts and foundations, whose inner workings were exposed in the April 2016 Panama Papers investigation. The data was originally obtained from an anonymous source by reporters at the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, who asked ICIJ to organize a global reporting collaboration to analyze the files.

The Panama Papers data published in this interactive website are records from Mossack Fonseca’s internal client database, including companies incorporated in tax havens and the people behind them. This is just a fraction of the complete leak, which amounts to 2.6 TB and 11.5 million files. This database doesn’t divulge raw documents or personal information en masse. It contains a great deal of information about company owners, proxies and intermediaries in secrecy jurisdictions, but it doesn’t disclose bank accounts, email exchanges and financial transactions contained in the documents.

You can also explore entities incorporated through Portcullis Trustnet (now Portcullis) and Commonwealth Trust Limited, two offshore service providers exposed as part of ICIJ’s 2013 Offshore Leaks investigation. ICIJ produced the first version of the Offshore Leaks database with Costa Rican newspaper La Nación.

The third source of this database comes from a leak of the corporate registry of the Bahamas. From the 1.3 million files received as part of the Bahamas Leaks investigation, the database was expanded to include the names of directors and some owners of more than 175,000 Bahamian companies, trusts and foundations.

ICIJ has added data from the Paradise Papers Appleby and some politicians featured in the Paradise Papers investigation. ICIJ will be releasing the full structured data from this investigation in the coming weeks.

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