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The Project

Social network analysis of the Panama Papers, with a specific emphasis in Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The network looks at the nodes between these two country and any other nodes irregardless of country of origin two degrees of freedom away.

The exploitation of openly and legally available information is as ancient as the use of intelligence as a tool for collecting information with regard to national defense and security. Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) reporters believe that it will enhance the depth and breath of their reporting through its vast volume and capabilities.

Understanding the social relationships identified within the Panama Papers may lead to a clearer understanding of how these methods of offshore structures are used to transfer money between Jordan and Saudi Arabia

The Process

  1. Generate subgraph of model of interest: nodes with two degree or less from all nodes with country codes for Saudi Arabia (SAU) and The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (JOR). The code can be found in in the

  2. Generate initial graph, ego, in Gephi using built in ForceAtlas2 algorithm. The code can be found in in the

  3. Computed several centrality measure and report our observations in order to identify the key players. The code can be found in in the

  4. Analyze community structures based on Louvian modularity, Q, and centralities. The code can be found in in the

  5. Investigated the top ten nodes with the highest degrees and characterized their role in their respective communities. The code can be found in in the

The Data

The Panama Papers are a set of 11.5 million document leaks from Panamanian law company ”Mossack Fonseca”, which provides information on approximately 360,000 businesses and individuals in more than 200 countries linked to offshore structures and covering a time period of nearly 40 years, from 1977 to 2016.


The ”ICIJ Offshore” database, presents the network of relationships between companies and individual people with offshore companies based in tax havens. Consists in a directed and unweighted network based on commercial registration of all types of companies involved in the scandal and the existing relations type, which are:

Text ** Meaning In Document**
"director of” Refers to the person appointed to the company’s management.
"director of” Refers to the person appointed to the company’s management.
”address” Refers to the address through which was possible to establish the country origin of the company.
”shareholder of” If it holds a stake in an offshore company.
”intermediary of” If it mediates companies in access to offshores.
”similar of” If the company is related to another company, among other attributes.

How The Data Is Structured:

Below is a break down between the different roles of Entity, Officer, and Intermediary.


When interpreting the graph, it will be important to understand the obligation that each person or person(s) has within the network.

  • Entity (offshore)
    Company, trust or fund created in a low-tax, offshore jurisdiction by an agent.

  • Officer
    Person or company who plays a role in an offshore entity.

  • Intermediary
    A go-between for someone seeking an offshore corporation and an offshore service provider - usually a law-firm or a middleman that asks an offshore service provider to create an offshore firm for a client.

  • Address
    A contact postal address as it appears in the original databases obtained by ICIJ.

Global Breakdown Of The Entire Panama Paper Corpus

In table 1, breaks down the file structure of how the entire corpus of documents provided by the ICIJ.

Name Type Purpose # of rows Columns of interest
panama_papers_edges.csv Edge Each edge has a type of the represented relationship 1,269,796 START_ID, TYPE, END_ID
panama_papers_addresses.csv Nodes Legal addresses of officers and entities 151,127 n/a
panama_papers_entity.csv Nodes Legal entities (corporations, firms, and so on) 319,421 name, jurisdiction
panama_papers_intermediary.csv Nodes Persons and organizations that act as links between other organizations 23,642 name, country_code
panama_papers_officer.csv Nodes Persons (directors, shareholders, and so on) 345,645 name, country_code

Technologies Used

This project relied heavily on the NetworkX python library and Gephi for data visualizations.

Network Analysis Methods

  • Clustering Coefficient
    The fraction of possible triangles in an egocentric network that contain the ego node and exit. It measures the undefined for directed graphs.

[insert example code] [insert example results] [interpretation]

  • Betweenness Centrality
    High betweenness individuals are often critical to collaboration across different groups.

[insert example code] [insert example results] [interpretation]

  • Eigenvector centrality
    Identifies nodes that are surrounded by other nodes. Can be used to located groups of interconnected nodes with high prestige.

[insert example code] [insert example results] [interpretation]

  • Modularity
    This metric identifies nodes that are more densely connected together than to the rest of the network, describing the network structure. In this model, Louvian Modularity was used to partition the graph(ego) into communities that maximized modularity. However, it does poorly to identify small communities.

  • Degrees
    Top ten nodes with the highest number of degrees.


Figure 2: Subgraph of the Panama Papers broken down into community using Louvian Modularity. image image

Figure 3: A community within the model with high modularity rank. image image

As seen in table 2, intermediary type nodes have the larger average number of degrees within the subgraph.

Type Average Number of Degrees
intermediary 12.9781
Entity 2.4506
Officer 2.7303

In table 3, we have the Names of the top 10 nodes with the larges number of degrees.

Name Type Number Number of Degrees
Unknown Unknown 1931
RAWI_&_CO (intermediary) 1475
BROCK_NOMINEES_LTD (officer) 243
TENBY_NOMINEES_LTD (officer) 219


  3. Complex Network Analysis in Python, Dmitry Zinoviev, The Pragmatic Programmers. (2018)
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