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World Leaders Hid Wealth Via Shell Companies, Report Alleges

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Leaked files from a Panama law firm that creates shell companies show that politicians, criminals and celebrities worldwide have used banks and shadow companies to hide their finances, according to a series of reports by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Within hours of publication, the divulgences prompted a parliamentary vote of confidence in Iceland, a curt denial from Argentina and ridicule from a close confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The consortium said it had obtained a cache of 11.5 million records outlining the creation of more than 200,000 offshore shell companies. The trove includes offshore companies linked to 12 current and former world leaders, as well as hidden financial dealings by 128 more politicians, public officials and entertainment celebrities, according to the ICIJ.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.

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