The second largest data leak in history has revealed the offshore interests of over 120 politicians and world leaders and almost 100 multinational corporations.
The data came from The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and 95 media partners who teamed up to leak 13.4 million files of offshore law firms and company registries in tax haven countries.
The leak is being called the “Paradise Papers”. Here are some of the key discoveries:
- The Queen of England’s private estate has been investing millions of pounds into a Cayman Islands fund through the Duchy of Lancaster. Some of these funds have ended up in the retailer BrightHouse, which has been accused of exploiting the poor and mentally challenged.
- Members of U.S President Donald’s Trump cabinet have been involved in dodgy offshore dealings, including payments made from Vladimir Putin’s son in the law to Wilbur Ross, Trump’s U.S commerce secretary. This certainly won’t help Trump’s cause in the ongoing Russia investigation.
- Squeaky clean Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been tainted by the papers too. Stephen Bronfman, Trudeau’s chief fundraiser and senior advisor, was involved in moving millions to the Caymans.
- At one point, more than 8% of Facebook and 5% of Twitter were controlled by Russian money via billionaire Yuri Milner. He and some other Ruskies all sold their stakes after the social media giants went public in the early 2010s. Milner also has ties to TrumpLithuanialaw Jarrod Kushner. Whoops.
- U2 frontman Bono has been avoiding tax through companies in Malta and Lithiuania.
- Glencore, the world’s largest mining company, secretly loaned money to secure a contract in the Congo.
- Large multinationals such as Apple, Nike and Uber have been dodging tax.
- Russia again: Two Russian billionaires secretly bought large stakes in English football clubs Arsenal and Everton.
Over half of the leaked documents come from an offshore law firm called Appleby. For more details, The Guardian has full coverage.