Secret agents from several countries, including intermediaries of the CIA, “have made wide use” of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca and opened shell companies in order to “conceal” their activities, German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported Tuesday.
The German newspaper worked with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists or ICIJ, which obtained more than 11.5 million documents from the firm and shared them with over 100 media outlets across the globe.
The leaked financial records, dubbed the Panama Papers, contain information on 215,000 offshore entities connected to individuals in more than 200 countries and territories.
According to the new information, Mossack Fonseca’s clients included “several players” in the 1980s Iran-Contra scandal, which saw senior U.S. officials facilitate secret arms sales to Iran in a bid to secure the release of U.S. hostages and fund Nicaragua’s Contra rebels.
The Panama Papers also reveal that “current or former high-ranking officials of the secret services of at least three countries … Saudi Arabia, Colombia and Rwanda” are listed amongst the company’s clients, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported.
The Panama Papers
Among them was Sheikh Kamal Adham, the former Saudi intelligence chief who died in 1999. Adham “spent the 1970s as one of the CIA’s key intermediaries” in the Middle East, the German newspaper reported.
The scandal, which came to light on April 3, has so far forced Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson to step down from his post as Iceland’s prime minister. The expose has also ensnared high-level businessmen and right-wing Latin American politicians in money laundering and tax evasion schemes.