Eleven million documents were leaked from one of the world's most secretive companies, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.
They show how Mossack Fonseca has helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and avoid tax.
Gerard Ryle, director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), said the documents covered day-to-day business at Mossack Fonseca over the past 40 years.
"I think the leak will prove to be probably the biggest blow the offshore world has ever taken because of the extent of the documents," he added.
One wealthy client, US millionaire and life coach Marianna Olszewski, was offered fake ownership records to hide money from the authorities. This is in direct breach of international regulations designed to stop money-laundering and tax evasion..
The question now becomes, will politicians save their own necks and stop protecting the corrupt by seizing assets and forcing people to pay taxes? Or will they prove they are the puppets of such corruption, prove that they need to be overthrown by popular revolt?
Giant Leak of Offshore Financial Records Exposes Global Array of Crime and Corruption
Millions of documents show heads of state, criminals and celebrities using secret hideaways in tax havens
- Files reveal the offshore holdings of 140 politicians and public officials from around the world
- Current and former world leaders in the data include prime ministers of Iceland and Pakistan, the president of Ukraine, and the king of Saudi Arabia
- More than 214,000 offshore entities appear in the leak, connected to people in more than 200 countries and territories
- Major banks have driven the creation of hard-to-trace companies in offshore havens