No one seems to know the identity of the whistleblower who, apparently, asked for nothing but anonymity.
The animated conversation between the source and SZ also contains a chilling bit where the source claims that their life is in danger.
According to Vice News, it's likely that some powerful heads will be on the chopping block:
"The leak exposes the offshore holdings of 12 current and former world leaders and reveals how associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin secretly shuffled as much as $2 billion through banks and shadow companies," the ICIJ wrote in its overview of the leak on Sunday. "The files contain new details about major scandals ranging from England's most infamous gold heist, an unfolding political money laundering affair in Brazil and bribery allegations convulsing FIFA, the body that rules international soccer."
SZ explained that an anonymous source contacted its reporters more than a year ago and provided them with 2.6 terabytes of data from Mossack Fonseca, which sells anonymous offshore companies around the world. "These shell firms enable their owners to cover up their business dealings, no matter how shady," SZ wrote, noting that the Panamanian firm's clients include "criminals and members of various Mafia groups," in addition to government officials and their relatives and close associates.
Vice, as usual, was way ahead of the game on this one, outing the law firm involved, Mossack Fonseca, back in December, 2014, in an article entitled,"The Law Firm That Works with Oligarchs, Money Launderers, and Dictators."
If shell companies are getaway cars for bank robbers, then Mossack Fonseca may be the world's shadiest car dealership.
So far only big names have come out - Putin, David Cameron's father, the president of Iceland - Gaddafi and Mugabe - but there are Canadian names on the list, among them The Royal Bank that used Mossack Fonseca to set up more than 370 offshore companies for clients. According to TorStar, more than 350-Canadians have been outed in the leaked documents. A co-founder of the Panamanian law firm confirms the documents are accurate and says they were stolen by a hacker. Thanks, hacker. May you live long and prosper.