Wednesday, April 06, 2016

The Panama Papers Mapped


I'm sure that we are going to see a lot of interactive mapped visualizations of the data exposed by the Panama Papers over the next few months.

So far the two most popular interactive maps have been simple visualizations of the number of companies in the Mossack Fonseca database from countries around the world. This Esri UK map, the Panama Papers: Mapped, uses scaled circle markers to show the number of companies in each country mentioned in the database. You can click on a country's marker to view the number of clients, beneficiaries, and shareholders mentioned in the papers from the selected country.

One thing that the map clearly reveals is the large role that the three UK Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man play in offshore tax evasion.

Brian Kilmartin's map (which I think was the first map of the Panama Papers) is very similar to the Esri UK map. It also uses scaled markers to visualize the number of companies in each country mentioned in the database. The Panama Papers: Where the Money is Hiding map also reveals the number of clients, beneficiaries, and shareholders mentioned in each country.


Argentinian website La Nación has created the only country specific interactive map of the Panama Papers that I've seen so far. Panama Papers: How Companies Operate Offshore uses Leaflet.js to explain how Argentinian companies used Mossak Fonseca to move money into tax havens.

The map uses numbered links to progress through the process that Argentinian companies have used in setting up offshore accounts through Mossack Fonseca. For many Argentinian businesses and individuals the process seems to involve using Uruguay's bank secrecy laws, hiring lawyers as intermediaries between the companies and Mossack Foneseca and then opening secret companies in tax havens like Nevada, Seychelles, the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas.
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