The Panama papers, released Sunday evening, have exposed 40 years of documents from a secretive law firm called Mossack Fonseca.
The data – in the form of 2.6 terabytes of information or 11.5 million internal company files – shows that the company worked with more than 14,000 banks, law firms, and other middlemen, to set up more than 210,000 shell companies, foundations and trusts for customers in tax havens.
These are legal, but can be used for tax evasion, sanction avoidance and money laundering.
The below chart by Statista shows the top ten countries where these intermediaries operated.
Unnervingly, the UK is second behind only Hong Kong, with 1,924 companies, foundations and trusts.