Prime ministers, presidents, soccer players, sheiks and emirs became embroiled in scandal at the beginning of 2016 as a result of revelations from the Panama Papers, leaked documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. The affair cost heads of government their jobs.
In this documentary, editors from the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung tell the story of how the affair started a year earlier when an anonymous whistle-blower offered them a vast quantity of secret data on large-scale tax evasion. Realizing the extent of the incriminating evidence, they decided to call in the help of hundreds of investigative journalists from more than 100 media organizations all over the world to delve into the data.
It was a daunting task, and not without danger: the people implicated were powerful and had few scruples. There was also the additional challenge of maintaining the secrecy of a project that had so many people working on it. The revelations had far-reaching consequences, and not only for the people mentioned in the documents. Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who exposed corruption in Malta based on information from the Panama Papers, was murdered in 2017.