The article I read is here. Article says that 200Gb of data from the last 10 years is being combed through.
Illustrative pic of British Virgin Islands taken from World Atlas
Samples of what’s been found after sifting through the data:
– Jean-Jacques Augier, Francois Hollande’s 2012 election campaign co-treasurer, launched a Caymans-based distributor in China with a 25 per cent partner in a BVI company. Augier says his partner was Xi Shu, a Chinese businessman.
– Mongolia’s former finance minister. Bayartsogt Sangajav set up “Legend Plus Capital Ltd” with a Swiss bank account, while he served as finance minister of the impoverished state from 2008 to 2012. He says it was “a mistake” not to declare it, and says “I probably should consider resigning from my position”.
– The president of Azerbaijan and his family. A local construction magnate, Hassan Gozal, controls entities set up in the names of President Ilham Aliyev’s two daughters.
– The wife of Russia’s deputy prime minister. Olga Shuvalova’s husband, businessman and politician Igor Shuvalov, has denied allegations of wrongdoing about her offshore interests.
– A senator’s husband in Canada. Lawyer Tony Merchant deposited more than US$800,000 into an offshore trust. He paid fees in cash and ordered written communication to be “kept to a minimum”.
– A dictator’s child in the Philippines: Maria Imelda Marcos Manotoc, a provincial governor, is the eldest daughter of former President Ferdinand Marcos, notorious for corruption.
– Spain’s wealthiest art collector, Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, a former beauty queen and widow of a Thyssen steel billionaire, who uses offshore entities to buy pictures.
– US: Offshore clients include Denise Rich, ex-wife of oil trader Marc Rich, who was controversially pardoned by then-President Bill Clinton on tax evasion charges. She put $144m into the Dry Trust, set up in the Cook Islands. It is estimated that more than $20tn acquired by wealthy individuals could lie in offshore accounts.
Edit (1st May, 2013): This other article has a bit more detail:
– Australian actor Paul Hogan, of “Crocodile Dundee” fame, has lost about $35.3 million from an account that he used to offshore his “bonza” film royalties. His once-trusted tax adviser Philip Egglishaw ran off with Hogan’s sizeable hidden offshore stash.
– Brigitte Bardot’s third ex-husband, Gunter Sachs, a millionaire industrialist, has been revealed as the owner of a huge, obscure wealth-masking machine: trust upon shell company upon holding company, almost ad infinitum, mostly based in the Cook Islands. The ICIJ has constructed an interactive map of Sachs’ extensive offshore holdings and business networks. The network is fairly representative of the steps that many on this list have taken to hide their wealth away. You can marvel at its imponderable complexity here.
– French banking scion Elie de Rothschild, of the famous banking family, has been named in the leaks. He was instrumental in setting up some 20 trusts and 10 holding companies in the Cook Islands, all extremely opaque in nature. His heirs have, not surprisingly, refused comment.
As of 2000, the last year verifiable data was available, roughly 400,000 companies were listed in the BVI offshore registry. The number certainly has increased.
Edit (15th May, 2013): This article states that 9 of Indonesia’s 11 most wealthy families are listed somewhere in these records, with 6 tied closely to former President Suharto.