Thirty current or past leaders, more than 300 politicians, stars or criminals from around the world were arrested on Sunday in connection with an extensive press conference on the opacity of coastal companies.
Most of the transactions revealed in the “Pandora Papers” published by the International Federation of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) are not illegal. But the study highlights the gap between some leaders’ anti-corruption rhetoric and their use of taxation.
Since coming to power in 1999, King Abdullah of Jordan has purchased 14 luxury properties in the United States and the United Kingdom through a network of companies located in tax havens such as the Virgin Islands.
According to the survey, he bought three marine show villas in Malibu, California, and property in London and Ascot (UK).
His lawyers assured the federation that he had used his personal wealth and sought foreign companies for reasons of security and prudence.
Prior to becoming prime minister, Czech billionaire Andrzej Babis invested $ 22 million in shell companies to buy Chatto Picot, a large property in Maujins, southern France. According to the Pandora Papers, he did not mention them in his declaration of assets when he entered politics.
The prime minister, who is embroiled in a fraud case against EU subsidies and interest disputes, faces parliamentary elections on October 8 and 9. He vowed not to do anything illegal and condemned the “disgraceful” maneuver ahead of Sunday’s election.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie bought the office building in 2017 by buying a company in the Virgin Islands that owns the campus. ICIJ reports that the transaction saved them about $ 400,000 in taxes.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta made the fight against corruption and transparency in public life a symbol of his speech. But the federation writes that he and six members of his family, including his mother, a brother and two sisters, own at least $ 30 million in several foreign companies.
Imran Khan was elected President of Pakistan in the summer of 2018 after the indictment against Nawaz Sharif, another ICIJ probe into Nawaz Sharif’s departure from the “Panama Papers”.
According to the federation, his family members and his government have millions of dollars in foreign accounts. On Twitter, the Prime Minister promised to “interrogate” all Pakistani citizens mentioned in the Pandora Papers.
Relatives of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliye – who have been targeted following corruption allegations – have entered into opaque real estate deals in the UK in which an office building was bought for 11-year-old Heider in the name of his son for $ 45 million, the BBC reports.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a former French minister and former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, paid millions of dollars in consulting fees to companies through a tax-exempt Moroccan company.
Colombian singer Shakira and German model Claudia Schiffer also have marine accounts. According to their agents, this is not tax evasion, the federation said.
Rafael Amado, the mafia boss who promoted the movie Comora, also used a shell company to buy land in Spain. He faces up to 20 years in prison in connection with several murders.
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