WASHINGTON – A massive leak of financial documents has been published by several major news agencies on Sunday allegedly tying world leaders to secret stores of wealth, including King Abdullah of Jordan and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis.
The dump of more than 11.9 million records, roughly 2.94 terabytes of data, came five years after the leak known as the “Panama Papers” that exposed how money was being hidden by the rich in a way that law enforcement agencies did could not see.
the International consortium of investigative journalists (ICIJ), a Washington, DC-based network of reporters and media organizations, said the files are linked to approximately 35 current and former national leaders and more than 330 politicians and officials in 91 countries and territories.
It did not say how the files were obtained, and Reuters was unable to independently verify the allegations or documents detailed by the consortium.
NBC News is not part of the consortium and has not been able to verify the accuracy of the leaked documents.
Jordan’s King Abdullah, a close ally of the United States, reportedly spent more than $ 100 million on luxury real estate in the United Kingdom and the United States through offshore accounts.
The Royal Hashemite Court of Jordan said in a statement on its website that reporting based on the leaked files “includes inaccuracies and skews and exaggerates the facts”.
“It is no secret that His Majesty owns a number of apartments and residences in the United States and the United Kingdom. This is neither unusual nor inappropriate, ”the statement said, adding that details of the property have not been released for security reasons and privacy concerns, not by attempting to hide them.
DLA Piper, a London law firm representing Abdullah, told the consortium of media outlets that it “has never misused public funds or in any way used the proceeds of any public aid or assistance”.
Days before the parliamentary elections in the Czech Republic from October 8 to 9, the documents are said to connect the country’s Prime Minister Babis to a secret property worth $ 22 million in a mountain village near Cannes, France brought.
During a televised debate on Sunday, Babis denied any wrongdoing.
“The money left a Czech bank, was taxed, it was my money and went back to a Czech bank,” said Babis.