The biggest data leak in history has lifted the lid on how world leaders and top officials hide their cash in offshore accounts, with a money trail worth up to $2bn (£1.4bn) leading to a number of Russian President Vladimir Putin's close allies.

The data, leaked from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, show how the firm has allegedly helped wealthy clients to avoid tax and launder money.

Here is what we know about the Panama Papers so far:

  • Some 11.5 million records of offshore holdings from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with 107 media organisation across 78 countries.
  • Data leak is larger than the US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks in 2010 and the secret intelligence documents disclosed by Edward Snowden in 2013.
  • The data gave an insight on the private wealth of 72 current or former heads of state who have used shell companies and offshore accounts, often through close associates or family members.
  • Pakistan's PM Nawaz Sharif, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, the King of Saudi Arabia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugson are among the high-profile figures mentioned in the reports.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin is not directly mentioned but a money trail worth up to $2bn points to a suspected billion-dollar money laundering scheme that was run by a Russian bank and involved some of Putin's closed allies.
  • Mossack Fonseca has reportedly acted for more than 300,000 companies, half of which are understood to be registered in British-administered tax havens, as well as in the UK itself.
  • The law firm operates in tax havens such as Switzerland, Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands, and in the British crown dependencies Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.
  • Mossack Fonseca denies any wrongdoing saying it has acted beyond reproach for 40 years and that it cannot be blamed for failings by intermediaries. Mossack Fonseca director Ramon Fonseca said the firm had suffered a hack on its database and described the leak as "an international campaign against privacy", according to Reuters.
Mossack Fonseca Panama Papers
Panama-based Mossack Fonseca law firm has been hit by a massive leak of confidential documentsRodrigo Arangua/AFP/Getty