‘Pandora papers’: New leaks reveal how world leaders use offshore companies to dodge millions of dollars in taxes | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

‘Pandora papers’: New leaks reveal how world leaders use offshore companies to dodge millions of dollars in taxes

Leaked papers appear to show how some of the world’s elites accumulate property empires while avoiding millions in taxes, with reports focusing on European, Middle Eastern and South American leaders, and world-famous celebrities.
Obtained from 14 offshore banking institutions and analyzed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the ‘Pandora Papers’ reveal the financial chicanery of more than 100 billionaires, 35 current and former world leaders, and 300 public officials. The first round of information, handed to a select list of international outlets and studied by “600 journalists,” was published on Sunday.

According to the ICIJ, King Abdullah II of Jordan is a prolific user of shell corporations to manage his global property empire. The monarch reportedly used 36 of these companies from 1995 to 2017 to purchase 14 luxury properties in the US and UK worth more than $106 million. The king’s lawyers say he used these stand-in companies to maintain his privacy rather than to dodge any taxes.

Azerbaijan’s ruling Aliyev family has traded almost $500 million worth of British property in recent years, according to the leaks. One of these properties was sold by an Aliyev-owned front company to the Queen’s crown estate for a sizable $90 million.

Two EU leaders are named in the leaks: Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who used an offshore investment company to acquire a $22 million château in the South of France, and President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus, who founded a law firm accused of hiding a Russian billionaire’s wealth.

Former British prime minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie are mentioned, with the pair allegedly having dodged $422,603 in property taxes when they purchased an $8.8 million London office partially owned by the family of a prominent Bahraini lawmaker. The Blairs were apparently able to circumvent these taxes by purchasing the foreign holding company that owned the office.

The list of leaders is extensive, and also includes Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the prime minister of Dubai and vice president of the United Arab Emirates.