Biggest Ever Leak Of Offshore Financial Papers Reveal World Leaders Hiding Money On A Vast Scale

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Biggest Ever Leak Of Offshore Financial Papers Reveal World Leaders Hiding Money On A Vast Scale

The UK newspaper The Guardian has published the biggest ever leak of classified financial documents related to offshore accounts. The so-called 'Pandora Papers' reveal how the rich and powerful, including senior members of governments, have hidden wealth from their citizens and avoided paying tax in their own countries.


The Pandora Papers contain 11.9 million files and come from companies used by the rich and powerful to create offshore financial structures in tax-havens such as the Cayman Islands, Switzerland and Monaco. Money held in these countries is subject to no tax or very minimal levels of tax, meaning that the wealthy in many cases pay less tax than average working people.


The files were leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) who then passed them on to the BBC and the Guardian newspaper, a newspaper famed for its exposes. Since the leak 600 journalists have been working full-time to reveal the most important information.


The revelations will no doubt pile pressure on those that have been revealed to be using these nefarious financial backdoors. While much of the activity is not in fact illegal, it shows these prominent individuals in an extremely poor light.


The papers include the names and financial details of 35 current and former world leaders, including King Abdullah II of Jordan, the Ukrainian President, the ruling Azerbaijani family, the Cypriot President, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Several wealthy donors to the ruling UK Conservative Party are also named in the documents.


King Abdullah II of Jordan is said to have amassed a global property empire worth $100 million, with homes in places such as Malibu, California. The President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, runs a law firm which the papers allege is involved in hiding the assets of Russian billionaires within fake shell companies. While the ruling Aliyev family of Azerbaijan is said to have traded £400 million worth of property in the UK. The Azerbaijani state is widely believed to be involved in organised crime and human rights abuses. Perhaps most embarrassingly, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, is said to have transferred 25% of his share in an offshore company to a friend who now works as a government advisor. It is particularly embarrassing for Zelenskiy as he was elected in 2019 on a platform of fighting corruption and the power of oligarchs in the country. Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is said to have avoided paying stamp-duty tax on a £6 million property through the use of offshore financial instruments.


This is not the first time such leaks have occurred. The Panama Papers previously showed how the rich and powerful hid their vast wealth, with individuals such as UK Prime Minister David Cameron being linked to these financial activities.


The Guardian and other newspapers will state they will reveal further details of the papers over the coming days and weeks.


[h/t: The Guardian]


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Thinking Humanity: Biggest Ever Leak Of Offshore Financial Papers Reveal World Leaders Hiding Money On A Vast Scale
Biggest Ever Leak Of Offshore Financial Papers Reveal World Leaders Hiding Money On A Vast Scale
The UK newspaper The Guardian has published the biggest ever leak of classified financial documents related to offshore accounts. The so-called 'Pando
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