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Montevideo, November 22nd 2017 - 09:28 UTC

Paradise Papers reveal how the rich and famous, corporations and individuals evade taxes

Monday, November 6th 2017 - 07:34 UTC
Full article 19 comments
Paradise Papers show ties between members of US President Donald Trump's cabinet and Russian firms. This is the case of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Paradise Papers show ties between members of US President Donald Trump's cabinet and Russian firms. This is the case of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross
Rock star Bono, as well as British Queen Elizabeth II's private estate, has also been involved in offshore funds, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported. Rock star Bono, as well as British Queen Elizabeth II's private estate, has also been involved in offshore funds, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.
Economist Gabriel Zucman told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that the global elite has stacked an estimated 7.9 trillion Euros (US$ 9.1 trillion) in offshore tax havens. Economist Gabriel Zucman told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that the global elite has stacked an estimated 7.9 trillion Euros (US$ 9.1 trillion) in offshore tax havens.
The data was published by a number of news organizations in cooperation with the US-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The data was published by a number of news organizations in cooperation with the US-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Some 400 reporters from 67 countries have scoured 13.4 million secret documents and uncovered tax-evasion techniques used by the super rich and high-ranking politicians, German media reported on Sunday.

 The leaked data was obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which said that the majority of the documents stem from offshore law firm Appleby, which was founded in Bermuda but has offices in several other locations. The company reported last month that it had been hacked.

The documents, dubbed the Paradise Papers, appear to show ties between members of US President Donald Trump's cabinet and Russian firms. Documents also show that by using shell companies, corporations such as Nike, Apple, Uber and Facebook are able to shrink their taxes to low rates.

Rock star Bono, as well as British Queen Elizabeth II's private estate, has also been involved in offshore funds, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported. Over 120 politicians from 47 countries are involved in the tax-evasion schemes, the paper reported.

Economist Gabriel Zucman told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that the global elite has parked an estimated 7.9 trillion Euros (US$ 9.1 trillion) in offshore tax havens. The data was published by a number of news organizations in cooperation with the US-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

The leaks expose US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, alleging links with Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest allies.

“Billionaire Wilbur Ross makes money from business with Russia. That he sits in US President Donald Trump's cabinet does not appear to change that,” the Süddeutsche Zeitung said in its report.

Ross is reportedly a major shareholder in an ocean freight company called Navigator, which has contracted more than US$ 68 million through transactions with Russian energy group Sibur since 2014. In turn, Sibur's biggest shareholders include Putin-ally Leonid Mikhelson, who controls another energy company sanctioned by the US Treasury for its close ties to the Russian president.

Sibur's two other owners include Gennady Timchenko, who is also sanctioned by the US government for his ties to Putin, and Kirill Shamalov, who is married to Putin's youngest daughter.

In addition to Ross, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that over a dozen Trump advisers, cabinet members and campaign donors appear in the leaked data.

Data from the Paradise Papers shows that former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder had a management role at an offshore company.

In 2009, he was part of a so-called “independent supervisory board” of the Russian-British energy company TNK-BP, the documents show. The joint venture by Britain's BP and Russia's Alfa-Group was based, like many other oil joint-ventures, in the British Virgin Islands.

Schröder and two others on the board contacted Appleby “about certain procedural company affairs under the laws of the British Virgin Islands,” according to an email from a London-based lawyer in October 2011. Appleby declined to offer their services due to a conflict of interest with another client.

In December 2011, Schröder stepped down from his post on the board. In 2013, TNK-PB was taken over by Russian oil giant Rosneft — Schröder was appointed chairman of Rosneft's supervisory board a few weeks ago. Several German companies also had dealings with Appleby, including car rental service Sixt, Deutsche Post (DHL), Siemens, Allianz and Deutsche Bank.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung was also involved in exposing the so-called Panama Papers leak last year. The papers were initially leaked to the Süddeutsche Zeitung last year. The Panama Papers consist of some 11.5 million leaked documents implicating individuals stashing their wealth in offshore tax havens.

The documents revealed how Mossack Fonseca had created some 200,000 shell companies and listed the names of individuals, including politicians, celebrities and athletes, who had hidden their wealth in those companies.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • The Voice

    Rique, you are correct, I do not benefit from tax havens. I do admire those who enrich themselves legitimately, from Warren Buffet to Bill Gates. But, I do not benefit from the activities of your lot, the scroungers, either.

    Nov 06th, 2017 - 08:24 pm +1
  • DemonTree

    @EM
    If you believe the rich will continue hiding their money abroad regardless, then it makes no sense to close 'our' tax havens. We don't gain anything and those BOTs would become poor and probably demand subsidies from the UK taxpayers. Or else they would declare independence immediately and then they wouldn't have to follow any rules at all.

    Nov 06th, 2017 - 09:02 pm +1
  • Enrique Massot

    @LL

    I couldn't agree more with that statement. Let' me pick one more sentence from Owen Jones, Guardian columnist:

    “In the coming days, you will hear this response from the defenders of our rotten status quo: 'What the Paradise Papers has exposed is legal, so what is the problem?'”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/07/paradise-papers-bankrupt-social-order-tax-avoiders

    In the 1950s and 1960s, there was talk about deposed tyrants and other unsavory characters stashing their money in Swiss. It has now become so prevalent, most everybody with some more money than needed for survival is using fiscal havens.

    In the meantime, we hear about the need to raise the retirement age and unbelievable resistance to raise minimum wages on the claim ”there is no enough.”

    We need to speak and act again this immoral system instead of advancing reasons why it's soooo difficult to do anything about it.

    Nov 08th, 2017 - 09:21 pm +1
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