"Paradise Papers" Revealed EUR 7 Billion of Taxes Saved in Offshore Accounts
Monarchs and presidents, politicians, big companies, world stars from sports and show business are hiding big portion of their wealth in offshore accounts. This revealed a large-scale journalistic investigation with documents from 2 intermediary firms and registers of 19 tax havens. The investigation was conducted by world media from the consortium of investigative journalists. It's called "Paradise Papers". Several European media, including Zu Süddeutsche Zeitung, Guardian and the BBC, simultaneously published samples of 13.4 million files with a total volume of 1.4 terabytes that have been processed for over a year by over 380 journalists from 67 countries. Documents stretch back 70 years back in time. It has been mainly investigated the Bermuda law firm 'Appleby', which works with multinationals and tycoons.
According to Zu Süddeutsche Zeitung, 7 billion euros of taxes are hidden in offshore. The series of publications will last for 4 weeks.
They reveal how millions of pounds sterling of Queen Elizabeth II are invested in a fund in the Cayman Islands, how close to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau runs a trust in the same offshore zone, reveals how close people to the Turkish prime minister are investing in Malta. One of the revelations about Russian investments in Facebook and Tweeter corresponds to the hot political topic in the United States - the Russian influence on the presidential campaign in the US last year through social networks.
Two Russian institutions linked to President Vladimir Putin have made significant investments in Twitter and Facebook, through a business associate of Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and adviser to the American head of state, Donald Trump. The investments in the two technology companies were made through the Russian tycoon Yury Milner, who has a stake in a company in which Kushner is co-owner. Recently, Facebook and Twitter testified at the US Congress in an investigation into Russian intervention in last year's election. They were not aware that the financing of the investments came from the state-owned Russian bank VTB and the oil company Gazprom, Milner said. Kushner's spokesman declined to comment.
Poland urges the European institutions to deal with the Paradise Papers as soon as possible, said Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development and Finance Mateusz Morawski. "The EU must definitely fight to end tax practices that violate the rules of solidarity and elementary justice," the minister said, stressing that recent media reports "confirm the legitimacy of Polish demands for a new tax structure at international level" .
EU finance ministers at today's meeting will discuss disclosures, diplomatic sources said, quoted by the Independent. They will also discuss the frozen proposal to create an EU black list of world tax havens.
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