According to the leaked data, the offshore company was used to buy $500,000 London apartment for Kojo Annan, Kofi Annan's only son.
The data released focuses on a company, Mossack Fonseca, based in Panama, hence the name Panama Papers. Often, the source of funds remains unexplained.
Kojo Annan is the only son of former United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, who served from 1997 to 2006.
The Swiss company Cotecna hired Kojo Annan in 1995 for work in Nigeria. By early 1998, he had quit to become a consultant to Cotecna. Months later, the United Nations awarded the firm a contract as part of Oil-for-Food humanitarian program in Iraq, prompting allegations of impropriety.
An independent panel investigated the program, including Kojo Annan, and issued a report in 2005 that found no evidence that he tried to influence or to use family connections to benefit from the program. Kojo Annan and Cotecna have consistently denied allegations of wrongdoing.
Kojo Annan was sole director of the Samoan company Sapphire Holding Ltd, originally incorporated in Niue in 2003, which he had used to buy an apartment in central London. The apartment was purchased in a transaction completed in 2003 for more than $500,000, according to U.K. records. Sapphire Holding used unnamed shareholders until 2015 when Kojo Annan became a listed shareholder with a Ghana address.
According to the lawyer who spoke to the ICIJ, Mr Annan's companies "operate in accordance with the laws and regulations of the relevant jurisdictions and, insofar tax liabilities arise, they pay taxes in the jurisdictions in which taxes are due to be paid. In other words, any entity and account held by Mr. Annan has been opened solely for normal, legal purposes of managing family and business matters and has been fully disclosed in accordance with applicable laws."
Mossack Fonseca continued to communicate with Annan at the central London address, Argyll Mansions, into 2015. Kojo Annan was also a joint shareholder and director of two British Virgin Islands companies incorporated in 2002 .