- Pandora Document Reporting Group
- BBC wide angle lens
The Pandora document reveals nearly 12 million documents that reveal the hidden wealth, tax evasion, and money laundering practices of some of the richest and most powerful people in the world.
More than 600 journalists from 117 countries have been reading documents from 14 sources for months, and this week they announced their findings.
The data was obtained by the Washington-based International Federation of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which works with more than 140 media organizations and conducts the largest global investigation in history.
The British investigation is led by the BBC’s Wide Angle and Guardian.
What is revealed in the Pandora documents
Pandora’s files contain 6.4 million documents, about 3 million images, over one million emails, and about 500,000 spreadsheets.
So far, the content revealed in Pandora’s documents includes:
- King Jordan’s real estate in the United Kingdom and the United States is valued at over 70 70 million ($ 100 million). Since taking over the throne in 1999, he has purchased 15 consecutive mansions through offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands, three villas off the coast of Malibu, California, and other mansions, including London and Royal Horse Racing. . Many properties.
- The family of Aliyev, the ruler of Azerbaijan, has secretly acquired a UK office building worth 33 33 million in the UK to secretly own 17 properties in the UK. The owner is the president’s 11 – year – old son, Heider Aliyev.
- The Czech Prime Minister has not announced a 12 12 million offshore investment company to buy two French villas.
- Kenyan President Uhuru Mugai Kenyatta and seven family members have secretly acquired a network of offshore companies. The investigation found that they were associated with 11 offshore companies, one of which had assets worth US $ 30 million;
These documents reveal how some of the world’s most powerful people, including more than 330 politicians from 90 countries, are using secret beach companies to hide their wealth.
Lakshmi Kumar of Global Financial Integrity, a US think tank, explained that these people are “transferring, transferring and hiding money” and are often used by unknown companies.
What is an “offshore company”?
Pandora documents reveal complex networks of multinational corporations, often leading to more hidden ownership of money and property.
For example, one may own property in the UK but acquire it through a group of companies in other countries or “offshore”.
Features of these offshore countries or regions are:
- Establishing a company is easy;
- Local laws make it difficult for outsiders to identify company owners;
- Very low corporate tax or tax deduction.
These destinations are often referred to as tax centers or secret jurisdictions. There is no clear list of tax havens, but the most well-known tax havens include the British overseas territory of the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands, as well as countries such as Switzerland and Singapore.
Is it illegal to use “Tax Heaven”?
Legal loopholes allow people to avoid paying certain taxes by transferring funds or placing them at tax centers, but this is generally considered immoral. The British government has said that tax evasion “involves acting in the literal sense of the law, not in the spirit of the law.”
There are legitimate reasons why people in different countries want to seize money and property, such as to protect themselves from criminal attacks or to prevent unstable governments.
While it is not illegal to secretly acquire foreign assets, using a complex network of secret companies to transfer funds and assets has become the best way to cover up criminal proceeds.
Following the opening of the previous “Panama Documents”, the public has repeatedly asked politicians to increase the difficulty of tax evasion or concealment of property.
But the Pandora document said “those who can end beach secrets … they take advantage of it too, so they have no incentive to end it.”
How easy is it to hide money abroad?
All you have to do is set up a shell company in a top secret area or in the offshore countries mentioned above. It is a dead company with no employees or offices.
But it will cost money. You must pay a fee to the professional companies that set up and run a shell company for you. These companies can provide an address and the names of the paying directors so there is no clue as to who is the ultimate boss behind the company.
How much money is hidden abroad?
This is difficult to say, but according to the International League of Investigative Journalists, the figure ranges from $ 5.6 trillion to $ 32 trillion. According to the International Monetary Fund, the use of tax havens costs governments around the world $ 600 billion in tax revenue each year.
Kumar said it was detrimental to other parts of the society. “The ability of (the rich and powerful) to hide money directly affects your life … it affects your children’s education, health, and the likelihood of buying a home.”
What steps has the UK taken in this regard?
Britain has been criticized for allowing anonymous foreign companies to seize citizens’ property.
In 2018, the British government announced draft legislation that would require the final owners of British real estate to be announced. But it is still waiting to be submitted to lawmakers.
According to a 2019 parliamentary report, the UK system “attracts money launderers and others who want to use their assets to hide illicit funds.”
The report says criminal investigations are often “interrupted” because police are ultimately unable to identify who owns the property.
The British government has recently raised the risk of money laundering through real estate from “moderate” to “advanced”.
The British government has stated that it will pass strict laws and regulations to curb money laundering and will present a register of offshore companies that own British assets if parliamentary time allows.
The Pandora documents reveal nearly 12 million documents and archives revealing the secret wealth and dealings of world leaders, politicians and billionaires. The data was obtained by the International Federation of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), based in Washington, D.C., which led the largest global survey ever conducted. More than 600 journalists from 117 countries are digging deep into the hidden treasures of some of the world’s most powerful people. The British investigation is led by the BBC’s Wide Angle and Guardian.
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