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Bank Whistleblower Believes CIA Is Behind the Panama Papers Leak

April 13, 2016, 12:19 PM UTC
View of a sign outside the building where Panama-based Mossack Fonseca law firm offices are in Panama City, on April 4, 2016. A massive leak -coming from Mossack Fonseca- of 11.5 million tax documents on Sunday exposed the secret offshore dealings of aides to Russian president Vladimir Putin, world leaders and celebrities including Barcelona forward Lionel Messi. An investigation into the documents by more than 100 media groups, described as one of the largest such probes in history, revealed the hidden offshore dealings in the assets of around 140 political figures -- including 12 current or former heads of states. AFP PHOTO/ Rodrigo ARANGUA / AFP / RODRIGO ARANGUA (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)
Photograph by Rodrigo Arangua—AFP via Getty Images

A former Swiss banker believes that the CIA is responsible for leaking the Panama Papers.

Bradley Birkenfeld, who CNBC describes as “the most significant financial whistleblower of all time,” suspects that the U.S. government’s intelligence service is responsible for leaking the Panama Papers—a collection of more than 11 million confidential documents with detailed information about offshore companies. Edward Snowden himself has called it “the world’s biggest leak in the history of data journalism.”

Birkenfeld once worked at Switzerland’s UBS before approaching the U.S. government with tax evasion information regarding Americans who had secret bank accounts. He served two years in a U.S. federal prison and was awarded $104 million by the IRS.

“The CIA I’m sure is behind this,” he told CNBC. The documents were stolen from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. Birkenfeld says that with NSA and CIA resources, the intelligence agency “can certainly get into a law firm like this.”


“The very fact that we see all these names surface that are the direct quote-unquote enemies of the United States, Russia, China, Pakistan, Argentina and we don’t see one U.S. name. Why is that?” Birkenfeld notes that many countries affected by the leak are those with tense relationships with the U.S. When asked why British Prime Minister David Cameron, a U.S. ally, was named, the former whistleblower chalked it up to friendly fire. He added, “There’s something seriously sinister here behind this.”