President John Dramani Mahama has lauded the Panama paper leaks describing it as a good thing because it forcing the developed countries to look on their side to make sure that there is haven where people can carry money.
It is the biggest leak in history, dwarfing the data released by the Wikileaks organisation in 2010. For context, if the amount of data released by Wikileaks was equivalent to the population of San Francisco, the amount of data released in the Panama Papers is the equivalent to that of India.
A huge leak of documents lifted the lid on how the rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth. The files were leaked from one of the world’s most secretive companies, a Panamanian law firm called Mossack Fonseca. The leak claims to expose the offshore holdings of 12 current and former world leaders and provides data on the financial activities of 128 other politicians and public officials from different countries.
The investigation involving about 370 journalists from more than 100 media organizations that dug into the files found the names of former President John Kufour’s and former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan’s sons.
Commenting on leaks for the first time during an interaction with the Ghanaian community in UK on how best corruption can fought, President Mahama said, the debate of tax havens has become topical and ”so this whole Panama papers thing is a good thing, because it is forcing the developed countries to look on their side and make sure that there is no safe haven where people can hide money…Even currently in Ghana, if you move any money through the banking systems that exceeds something amount,
it must be reported to the financial intelligence sector. And so its making it more difficult for people to be able to steal our money and go and filth and hide it somewhere in an offshore tax haven… And we need to continue to implement these systems so that, it makes it more difficult for people,” to be corrupt.
Education, President Mahama says can also help to fight and reduce corruption drastically as some people are not aware that they are engaged in corruption.