At the time of Panama Papers release, there were suggestions made by the press that it's a Big Deal and will lead to Great Changes in politics.

The prime example they used was a nearly-instant fall of Iceland's PM Gunnlaugsson.

However, I don't recall any other fallout beyond noise. Was that just a first among the many, or the one and only meaningful political change among the power elite that happened as a result of Panama Papers?

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    Considering that the current answers are about some people that got fired for being in the panama papers (one iceland minister got fired too, 1st britain minister got to explain how he inhrits an account from there too) is that really what you're looking for or a true changes in politics, high level politicians, regulations and so on ?
    – Walfrat
    Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 11:17

3 Answers 3


It started an investigation of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr Nawaz Sharif, which subsequently led to his removal from office and then his incarceration.

As the Guardian reported in 2017:

Pakistan’s supreme court has removed the prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, from office in a unanimous verdict over corruption allegations that will further upset the country’s unstable political landscape.

The 10-year disqualification of Sharif cut short the third tenure of a man who has been a leading figure in Pakistani politics for nearly three decades since his first term from 1990 to 1993.

In 2018, that ban was extended to prevent him from holding office for life, according to Reuters:

Pakistan’s Supreme Court disqualified deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif from holding office for life on Friday amid an ongoing corruption trial and ahead of general elections due this year.

Also in 2018, he was convicted, according to reporting by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists:

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined $10.6 million on corruption charges linked to 2016 Panama Papers revelations about his family’s properties overseas.

He's no longer serving his sentence though, according to Wikipedia:

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) granted him bail on humanitarian grounds in October 2019, and Sharif went to London for medical treatment. Later in March, he was granted bail for a period of six weeks by the Supreme Court to continue pursuing his health treatment. After failing to return to Pakistan when his bail expired, the IHC declared him an absconder. He currently faces non-bailable arrest warrants for the Al-Azizia corruption case.


Spanish former Minister of Industry and Tourism, José Manuel Soria, was forced to resign because he appeared in the Panama Papers.


The reason there hasn't been an overarching effect on politicans globally is twofold.

First: The worst offenders from the political realm are politicians in countries where their power is consolidated enough that this would not shake them. This would be autocracies such as Russia, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Azerbaijan among others. Ukraine's Poroshenko was under fire for blatant abuse, but at the time they had some more pressing issues...

Second: The report was not made to target politicians, which is important. A slew of wealthy individuals around the globe have been taken to their respective courts, and fires were put back into the debates for reigning in tax evasion in many countries. France took the extra step of labeling Panama a tax-haven country, to the chagrin of the Panamanian government.

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