Panama Papers: Links revealed to spies and Iran-Contra affair

Documents show ex-CIA gun-runners, contractors use offshore firms for personal gain

The documents also pull back the curtain on hundreds of details about how former CIA gun-runners and contractors use offshore companies for personal and private gain. Further, they illuminate the workings of a host of other characters who used offshore companies during or after their work as spy chiefs, secret agents or operatives for the CIA and other intelligence agencies.

“You can’t exactly walk around saying that you’re a spy,” says Loch K Johnson, a professor at the University of Georgia, in explaining the cover that offshore firms offer. Johnson, a former aide to a US Senate committee’s intelligence inquiries, has spent decades studying CIA “front” companies.

The documents reveal that Mossack Fonseca’s clients included Saudi Arabia’s first intelligence chief who was named by a US Senate committee as the CIA’s “principal liaison for the entire the Middle East from the mid-1960s through 1979”, Sheikh Kamal Adham, who controlled offshore companies later involved in a US banking scandal; Colombia’s former chief of air intelligence, retired maj gen Ricardo Rubianogroot, who was a shareholder of an aviation and logistics company; and Brig Gen Emmanuel Ndahiro, doctor-turned-spy-chief to Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame.

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