Dutch programmer Megaupload is in Panama Papers

Apr

6

2016

Bram van der Kolk, the Dutch programmer who is seen as the right hand of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is listed in the Panama Papers. Van der Kolk is a shareholder in a letterbox company, allegedly for reasons of privacy.

The Panama Papers show that Bram van der Kolk sixty percent of the shares held by the company Easy Focus Technology Limited, established on January 5, 2010 and is located in the British Virgin Islands, a known tax haven. The Slovak Július Benko, graphic designer of Megaupload, the other shareholder of the shelf companies.

Van der Kolk says to Het Financieele Dagblad and Trouw that he was working on a new start-up with Benko and previously founded a company in the tax haven to be able to do that without Kim Dotcom would learn it. “Not so much because our project competed with Megaupload or because we could thus spend less time on Megaupload. More because Kim would never allow it in principle and would lead directly to an unnecessary escalation,” Van der Kolk says to the newspaper. How much money is going on in the company, was not disclosed.

Late last year ruled a judge in New Zealand that Van der Kolk may be extradited to the United States along with Kim Dotcom, because they would have infringed copyright file sharing service MegaUpload. The case of the extradition could go on to the Supreme Court in New Zealand and therefore it may take two to four years before there is a final judgment.

Van der Kolk uses a letterbox company evidenced by an article in which Het Financieele Dagblad announcing that Dutch companies showed record by Panamanian lawyer firm Mossack Fonseca. FD is one of the more than one hundred media organizations doing research worldwide to 2.6 terabytes of data that was stolen from Mossack Fonseca was brought out. The Panama Papers include 11.5 million documents and are considered the biggest data breach in history.

Panama Papers

An anonymous source sent the data initially to a journalist from Süddeutsche Zeitung. The first documents were sent a year ago. SZ then switched the ICIJ, a consortium of research journalists. This organization is in charge of the extensive research have worked, which in the past year four hundred journalists from more than one hundred media organizations from more than eighty countries.

The leaked data is not published for the general public but ICIJ has established a secure environment in which journalists can consult the files and discuss publications that are of general interest to the public. The investigation is ongoing and will continue daily new information out.

How the data in Mossack Fonseca has been leaked is not known. Maybe involves an insider who had access to all data. According to the researchers, the company made a folder containing emails, contracts, scripts and trans scanned documents for each mailbox companies. Per shelf companies sometimes would go to thousands of documents. With OCR software all text to images, such as passport copies searchable.

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