Pandora Papers: Documents detail alleged ties between world leaders and secret wealth

Category: Top Stories


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. massive / ˈmæs ɪv / (adj.) – very large in amount, number, or degree

    The Tokyo 2020 Olympics was a massive event. More than 10,000 athletes participated in it.

  2. tie (someone/something) to (someone/something) / taɪ tʊ / (phrasal v.) – to connect someone or something to another person or thing

    The recordings and documents tied the mayor to some illegal activities.

  3. store / stɔr / (n.) – a supply of something that’s kept for future use

    This online library is a reliable store of information.

  4. dump / dʌmp / (n.) – an act of transferring data from a computer to another place or device

    I had to transfer thousands of files from my old laptop to the new one. The dump lasted for five hours.

  5. evasion / ɪˈveɪ ʒən / (n.) – the act of avoiding or escaping something, such as a responsibility or obligation

    The CEO was accused of tax evasion. Investigations revealed that he hasn’t paid his taxes for years.


Read the text below.

A massive leak of financial documents, dubbed the “Pandora Papers,” was published by several major news organizations Oct. 3, allegedly tying secret stores of wealth to world leaders including King Abdullah of Jordan, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis and associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The dump of more than 11.9 million records, amounting to about 2.94 terabytes of data, came five years after the leak known as the “Panama Papers” exposed how money was hidden by the wealthy in ways that law enforcement agencies could not detect.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a network of reporters and media organizations, said the files are linked to about 35 current and former national leaders, and more than 330 politicians and public officials in 91 countries and territories.

“The new data leak must be a wake-up call,” said Sven Giegold, a Green party lawmaker in the European Parliament. “Global tax evasion fuels global inequality. We need to expand and sharpen the countermeasures now.”

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The “Pandora Papers” were published by several major news organizations. It allegedly tied secret stores of wealth to certain world leaders. Do you think that it’s a credible source? Do you think it’s okay to reveal the names of the world leaders involved to the public? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • What do you think should be done to the world leaders/politicians mentioned in the “Pandora Papers” (ex. investigated, removed from power)? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • In your opinion, what should governments do to prevent world leaders and politicians from accumulating and hiding secret wealth (ex. monitoring their taxes and properties more closely)? Why? Discuss.
  • Giegold said that “Global tax evasion fuels global inequality.” Do you agree with this statement? Do you think the data leak would lead to better equality in wealth or resources around the world? Why or why not? Discuss.