New Pandora Papers investigation: How polluted profits move offshore

The Pandora Papers contain a variety of covert dealings that are difficult to navigate and understand.

Whether it’s offshore schemes that obscure business maneuvers or simply keep money out of sight and away from public scrutiny — what the documents make clear is that powerful individuals and companies have access to a system of secrecy that can serve many purposes.

That layer of secrecy can be even more problematic for business activities that play an outsized effect on public life — such as in industries accused of polluting and degrading the environment.

ICIJ’s Scilla Alecci follows up on her Pandora Papers reporting on Belgian chemical giant Solvay with new case studies on corporate polluters from India, Russia, Indonesia and more.

Her reporting shows how industry executives and investors use shell companies and trusts in secrecy jurisdictions to multiply profits, avoid taxes or shield wealth from authorities, courts and concerned communities.

Scilla also homes in on the kind of devastating damage these corporations are allegedly responsible for — including deadly explosions, water contamination and sick children.

President Sebastián Piñera survived a Senate vote last week on his impeachment over Pandora Papers revelations, but his party did not survive national elections days later. Piñera is still facing a criminal probe on his offshore dealings, one of several Latin American presidents being scrutinized after getting exposed by the investigation.

Want to know more about what our 600 journalism partners reported on in the Pandora Papers? Here are summaries of the most notable investigations from Africa, Asia, and North America. More highlights from other regions coming soon!

A new report digs into the role wealthier countries like the U.S. play in draining global tax revenue — to the tune of nearly half a trillion dollars each year — an issue under discussion by policymakers after the Pandora Papers.

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Thanks for reading!

Asraa Mustufa

ICIJ’s digital editor

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