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Biggest Documents Leak in History Ties Vladimir Putin to $2 Billion Offshore Money Trail

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(Credit: Marianna Massey/Getty Images for USOC) SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 14: Russian President Vladimir Putin visits USA House in the Olympic Village on February 14, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
President Vladimir Putin Visits USA House
April 4
5:53 AM 2016

A massive document leak obtained from a law firm in Panama revealed that allies of the Russian President Vladimir Putin may be tied to a $2 billion offshore money trail. Although the president's name wasn't mentioned in the documents, it's likely that his allies wouldn't get the secret deals if it wasn't for the connections they have with the president.

According to TIME, the documents were obtained from an anonymous source. The documents were then shared by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The confidential documents were acquired from the internal database of a law firm in Panama, Mossack Fonseca. The documents suggest that the global law firm helps many international clients including Vladimir Putin's associates launder money, dodge sanctions, and evade tax.

The leaked documents show how Mr Putin's friends and families benefited from their connections with the president and have earned millions from secret deals in the offshore haven Panama. Totaling in $2 billion, the money has been channeled through a network of banks and companies linked to Mr Putin's allies.

The Guardian listed the names of Mr Putin's inner circles mentioned in the leaked documents. The documents exposed Sergei Roldugin, a professional musician, and a best friend to Mr Putin. He's also the godfather to Mr Putin's older daughter Maria. The documents show that he has apparently accumulated a fortune, having been placed in charge of a series of assets worth at least $100 million.

Despite not being a businessman himself, Mr Roldugin was revealed to has a 12.5 percent stake in Russia's biggest TV advertising Video International. He is also listed as an owner of Bank Rossiya with 3.2 percent stake. Other offshore trails revolving around Mr Putin also includes a private ski resort where his younger daughter Katerina got married in 2013.

Besides Mr Putin's inner circles, the leaked documents also revealed other names with connections to the offshore firm. The names also include Mr Putin's arch enemy, Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, as reported by Telegraph. Also listed in the documents, current president of Argentina Mauricio Macri, the children of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, among other political figures.

The leak of secret documents obtained from a law firm in Panama is considered the largest leak of confidential documents in history, with up to 3 terabytes of data. The documents show Mr Putin's inner circles and other international political figures' connection with offshore holdings. The offshore money trail involving Mr Putin's allies sums up to $2 billion. 

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