WJ students react to the Pandora Papers scandal

Aya Hesham

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After the leak of the Pandora Papers, lawmakers on Capitol Hill introduced a bill that would require trust companies and banks to investigate foreign clients.

Millions of documents titled The Pandora Papers, were leaked recently exposing the offshore financial system and secret economy that world leaders have accumulated. The collaborative expose’ was obtained by The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists with the help of over 600 journalists and 117 countries.

The Pandora Papers contain information about, “more than 330 politicians and public officials from over 90 countries and territories, including 35 current and former country leaders,” according to The New York Times.

Senior Tomi Ogunnusi expressed her astonishment with the scandal.

“I think it’s kind of insane that many leaders have been secretly accumulating wealth under everyone’s noses,” Ogunnusi said.

Many well-known politicians and world leaders were noted in the findings. One being King Abdulla II of Jordan who had accumulated $100 million in concealed property and multiple homes in Malibu, London and Washington DC through secret companies.

The former Prime Minister of the UK, Tony Blair, was also noted for buying a $8.8 million Victorian Building in 2017 by buying a British Virgin Islands company that held the property. The building now hosts the law firm of his wife, according to Aljazeera.

Many students argue that the system is built for greed as many of the individuals are leaders of low or middle-income countries such as Brazil, Gabon and Sri Lanka. Senior Reagan Tyler feels uncomfortable with how long this has been happening.

“When I first read about the Pandora Papers scandal, my initial reaction was ‘how has this been going on for so long?’ Politicians purchasing properties worth millions of dollars without their people knowing is deceiving,” Tyler said.

Many students at WJ feel relieved that the scandal is being uncovered, senior Justin Davids being one of them.

“I am glad to hear that such illegal activity conducted by our leaders and politicians is finally coming to light,” Davids said. “This is just another example of the hypocrisy that we see frequently on Capitol Hill. This is egregious behavior used to flout the laws of the United States for the benefit of the select few.”