China’s government officials are working to ensure the censorship of the Panama Papers release. The Inquisitr reported that the offshore tax-evasion data could place many world leaders on the hot seat.
First discovered by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), The “Panama Papers” are actually a compilation of roughly 2.6 terabytes of data extracted from Mossack Fonseca & Co. — a Panamanian law firm.
As reported by the New York Times, among world leaders whose names have been uncovered in the documents is Chinese President Xi Jinping. Not surprisingly, given China’s rigid censorship laws, the Chinese media is being ordered not to report on Jinping, or even mention the Panama Papers in their work.
The Seattle Times reports that Chinese government officials join the ranks of drug king-pins — and actual kings, amid their frantic efforts to censorship the leak epidemic.
No prominent American figures have been named in the leak as the list continues to develop ranging from drug kingpins to actual kings. Below are just a few of the prominent figures so far.
- Kings of Morocco and Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan
- Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto
- British Prime Minister David Cameron
With the election year slowly reaching its apex this year in the United States, such a revelation exposing a potential candidate could change the tides significantly.
Iceland’s prime minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, has already reportedly resigned from his position today due to his name appearing in the leak.
The scrutiny only grows as China’s censoring of the Panama leak is being viewed as China’s government’s method for covering its tracks if guilty.
Yet, the Chinese government continues to censor their media and block other journalists around the globe.
#China Govt spokesman Hong Lei official response to Chinese Panama Papers alleged links: "For such groundless accusations I have no comment"— Stephen McDonell (@StephenMcDonell) April 5, 2016
The New York Times reports that Prime Minister of Iceland, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, has already faced so much scrutiny for the having his name appear in the documents that he has effectively resigned from his position Tuesday.
In the heavily-censored China, several names of relatives to political leaders have been found within the millions of leaked documents sifted through by international journalists.
And China is no stranger to “keeping-it-all-in-the-family” regarding money laundering scandals. In 2009, President Jinping’s brother-in-law, Deng Jiagui, had registered two British Virgin Islands accounts through the infamous Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca.
Most of the Chinese population will never hear the news of their leaders hiding massive amounts of currency in offshore companies, according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists leak on Sunday.
This is because China’s “Great Firewall” of censors will stop information from making it inside of the nation by any means.
The New York Times added that residents of China can’t even use China’s version of Twitter, Weibo, to do a search about the massive leak. If you are currently in China, and were to simply search the word Panama — your efforts would be deflected and instead given results on importing fruit from Panama to China.
After being insulted by such undermining results, China later rigged their search engines to respond to queries about the Panama leak to “Sorry, searches for ‘Panama’ came up with no relevant results.”
All of the following search phrases were banned in China as well: “tax evasion,” “file,” “leaked,” “Putin” and “company.”
According to China Digital Times, Chinese editors were forced to delete their reports of the leaks by Chinese censors.
China regards any reports of the Panama scandal as an “attack” on China, threatening journalists and members of the media to adhere to their censorship requests or face disciplinary action.
“If material from foreign media attacking China is found on any website, it will be dealt with severely.”
What do you think of China censoring the Panama Papers?
[Photo by Andy Wong/AP Images]