A huge amount of recently released confidential records reveal lucrative tax havens for some of the world’s most wealthy and powerful figures, from the king of Jordan to the feisty pop singer Sharika — and even an underground art dealer whose collections are showcased at The Met.
The documents, dubbed the “Pandora Papers,” consist of nearly 12 million documents detailing systematic tax evasion by 14 companies using foreign bank accounts that hide the fortunes and net worth of hundreds of wealthy clients.
The records, the largest-ever leak of confidential documents, were compiled and released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a global coalition of media organizations.
Among those caught with offshore accounts are 35 current and former world leaders, including Jordanian King Abdullah II, who hid $106 million to purchase mansions in Malibu and elsewhere, according to a report in the Washington Post.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta also protected their assets from taxes.
Douglas Latchford, an indicted antiquities dealer with ties to looted Cambodian artifacts — whose art collections are on display at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art — allegedly used the offshore accounts to hide profits from underground art dealing.
Tony Blair, Britain’s longest-serving prime minister, avoided paying more than $580,000 in real estate transfer taxes by buying an $11 million London mansion by buying the property through shares of a holding company in the British Virgin Islands, according to a new report. the papers.
Colombian born singer Shakira, who is already in tax trouble for allegedly failing to pay its taxes in Spain, offshore entities set up in the British Virgin Islands to hide assets, according to the Pandora Papers.
Sports figures, including Canadian Olympic figure skater Elvis Stojko and Formula 1 driver Jacques Villeneuve, also made the long list.
The records, at 2.94 terabytes of data, eclipse the Panama Papers in size.