TIPS

How to explore networks and entity metadata in the Offshore Leaks Database

Part two of a three-part series: Here are a few tips on how to navigate the networks and extract all the information you can out of ICIJ’s Offshore Leaks Database.

This is the second part of a three-part series on ways to search our Offshore Leaks Database that now includes more than 680,000 entities from 55 secrecy jurisdictions. The first installment was How to search the Offshore Leaks Database by location.

The Offshore Leaks database displays networks of entities and individuals that can be challenging to navigate. Here are a few tips on how to make sense of those networks and all the information you can get out of the data we have made public.

1. Who are the intermediaries?

Offshore transactions involve an individual who had money, an entity that will be used to hide this money but also an intermediary that will oftentimes register that entity in the secrecy jurisdiction. Those intermediaries could be law firms or banks, or other companies.

When you search for any keyword you will be able to access the intermediaries connected to that key word by simply clicking on the “Intermediaries” tab. When you explore an entity you will often find the connected intermediary (look for this icon: Intermediary). Double clicking on this icon will enable you to find all the other entities connected to this intermediary. You can also click on the name of the intermediary listed under the graph.

List of intermediaries

2. Explore big group of companies

The Offshore Leaks data includes conglomerates of companies connected to each other through a mother company often called a group. Those are referenced as “Other” in the data and be found under the tab with the same name.

You can search for example the company “Glencore” and find a link to “Glencore Group” in the “Other” tab. This will display all the entities connected to that commodities giant accused of having abused loopholes to avoid tax.

Glencore's group of companies

The Nike group and WL Ross group, formerly run by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, both investigated as part of the Paradise Papers, can similarly be found under the “Other” tab.

3. Additional information you can get out of the database

Extra information on entities can be found when you highlight the different icons or if you scroll down to the bottom of the page. You will find for example dates of incorporation of entities or dates of appointment of officers.

You can also find out the source of the information, meaning the leak from which the data originated. For each leak, you can see how current the data is. For example data from Appleby is up-to-date until 2014 whereas data from the Bahama Leaks is current through early 2016.

The database allows you to filter the search results for each specific leak through a menu on the right. We created a “same as” relationship to enable data from different leaks to be connected. Argentine President Mauricio Macri’s company, Fleg Trading Limited, is present in both the Panama Papers and the Bahamas Leaks, as you can see on the entity page.

Entity data

Happy searching! As always, don’t forget to tell us what you find in the data.

And don’t forget, ICIJ believes this data should be publicly-available, and we need your support to keep it that way.

Make a donation and help us keep it free, online and accessible.

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