On Sunday, a massive leak of financial documents was published by several major news organizations shedding light on how some of the world’s leaders, including Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, Jordan’s King Abdullah and Russian President Vladimir Putin, have stashed their wealth.
The data dump of more than 11.9 million records, amounting to a whopping 2.94 terabytes of data, comes 5 years after a similar expose of the “Panama Papers” which also shed light on the hidden wealth of leaders and celebrities which were not detected by law enforcement agencies.
According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the files are linked to about 35 current and former national leaders, and more than 330 politicians and public officials in 91 countries and territories.
Jordan’s King Abdullah, a close ally of the United States, was alleged to have used offshore accounts to spend more than $100 million on luxury homes in the United Kingdom and the United States.
According to DLA Piper, a London law office representing Abdullah, the consortium of media outlets that he had “not at any point misused public monies or made any use whatsoever of the proceeds of aid or assistance intended for public use.”
The leak comes just days ahead of the Czech Republic’s October 8-9 parliamentary election, tying the country’s prime minister, Babis, to a secret $22 million estate in a hilltop village near Cannes, France.
In a televised debate on Sunday, Babis denied any wrongdoing. “The money left a Czech bank, was taxed, it was my money, and returned to a Czech bank,” said Babis.