Paradise Papers Reveal More Shady Financial Conduct by World’s Elite
More than 13 million files from two offshore firms and 19 tax havens have been leaked to the press.
Back in 2015, the Panama Papers leak led to the downfall of prime ministers in Iceland and Pakistan and implicated numerous other high-profile officials around the world. Since then, it has become more well-known that the world’s elite stash their money into offshore funds. But the newest leak, called the Paradise Papers, shows yet again that some of the world’s biggest businesses and most prominent political figures might be involved in some “dodgy dealings,” reports Vice.
The Paradise Papers contain more than 13 million files from two offshore service providers and the company registries of 19 tax havens. The files were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, who passed them on to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to be scruntinised by news outlets like BBC and The Guardian.
Here are some of the people who were in the Paradise Papers.
Bono is reported to have used a company based in Malta to buy stake in a Lithuanian shopping center, reports Vice. In Malta, foreign investors pay just five percent tax on company profits.
Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen’s private estate invested in a fund that held shares in BrightHouse, which is a retailer which “exploited society’s poorest and most vulnerable by charging extortionate repayments on household appliances,” reports Vice. The Duchy of Lancaster, which is an investment porfolio set up to provide income for the Queen, placed around £10 million in offshore funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
When approached by The Guardian, a Duchy spokesperson said the Queen had no idea about its investment in BrightHouse.
The Paradise Papers suggest the British billionaire and former Conservative Party official Lord Ashcroft continues to live in Belize and “worked around the new law to continue avoiding tax on his worldwide income between 2010 and 2015,” writes Vice.
Donald Trump’s Advisers
Wilbur Ross, Donald Trump’s Secretary of Commerce, is revealed to have businesses links with Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law through a global shipping company, according to Vice. Ross, though a spokesperson, has since said he recuses himself from all shipping commerce in his official capacity as the nation’s Commerce Secretary.
The papers also revealed the Russian state invested hundreds of millions of pounds into Twitter and Facebook. The investments were made by Yuri Milner, a business associate of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser.
Justin Trudeau’s chief fundraiser
Stephen Bronfman, the chief fundraiser for Trudeau’s Liberal party, has been linked to an offshore trust in the Cayman Islands, reports Vice. The trust’s foreign nature may have cost the country millions of dollars in tax revenue.