A simple guide to understanding one of the biggest leaks in history with 12 million documents released

Illustration of a key and documents

Pandora’s Papers is a leak of nearly 12 million documents that reveals hidden wealth, tax avoidance, and in some cases money laundering by some of the world’s rich and powerful.

More than 600 journalists in 117 countries examined the archives of 14 sources for months, and found stories to be published this week.

The data was obtained by The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in Washington, DC, which works with more than 140 media organizations in its largest global investigation.

The BBC Panorama research program and The Guardian led the investigation in the UK.

What was discovered?

The Pandora Papers leak includes 6.4 million documents, nearly three million photos, more than a million email messages, and nearly half a million spreadsheets.

The stories revealed so far include:

  • The King of Jordan spends £70m on UK and US properties through secretly owned businesses.

  • The hidden involvement of the main Azerbaijani family in real estate deals in the UK worth more than 400 million pounds.

  • The Czech Prime Minister has not announced an investment company Navy Used to buy two French villas for £12m.

  • How the family of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta secretly owned a network of companies Navy during decades.

Draw

Draw

Archives reveal how some of the world’s most powerful people, including more than 330 politicians from 90 countries, use companies Navy Secrets to Hide Your Wealth.

Lakshmi Kumar of US Global Financial Integrity explained that these people “can transfer, transfer and hide money”, often through the use of anonymous companies.

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What does “outside” mean?

Pandora’s papers reveal intricate networks of businesses created across borders, often resulting in hidden ownership of funds and assets.

For example, a person may own property in the United Kingdom, but own it through a chain of companies”Navy“, That is, based in other countries.

These countries or territories Navy she is the one:

paragraph & # xed;  very financial

tax paradise

These destinations are often called tax havens or secret jurisdictions.

There is no definitive list of tax havens, but the best known destinations include British Overseas Territories such as the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islandsas well as countries such as Switzerland and Singapore.

Is it illegal to use a tax haven?

Loopholes in the laws allow people to legally avoid paying some taxes by moving their money or setting up businesses in tax havens, but this is often seen as unethical.

The UK government says tax avoidance “It means working within the letter, not the spirit of the law.”.

There are also a number of legitimate reasons why people want to own money and assets in different countries, such as protection from criminal attacks or protection from unstable governments.

Although it is not illegal to own secret assets abroad, using a complex network of clandestine companies to move money and assets It’s the perfect way to hide the proceeds of crime.

Money laundering

Money laundering

There have been repeated calls for politicians to make it difficult to avoid taxes or hide assets, especially after previous leaks such as the Panama Papers.

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But Ryle said Pandora’s Papers show that “lPeople who can end secrecy outside… benefit from it. So there is no incentive for them to finish it.”

How easy is it to hide money in offshore companies?

All you have to do is set up a shell company in one of the countries or jurisdictions that enjoy high levels of confidentiality. This is a company that exists in name only, with no employees or office.

However, it costs money. Specialized companies are paid to set up and manage shell companies on their behalf. These companies can provide the address and names of the paying directors, thus leaving no trace of who is ultimately behind the company.

How much money is hidden “offshore”?

It’s impossible to say for certain, but estimates ranged from $5.6 trillion to $32 trillion, according to the ICIJ.

The International Monetary Fund has said so Using tax havens is costing governments around the world as much 600 billion dollars in lost taxes every year.

It hurts the rest of society, Kumar said: “The ability to hide money has a direct impact on your life…it affects your children’s access to education, access to health, and access to home.”

What is the UK doing about it?

The United Kingdom has been criticized for allowing the ownership of anonymous companies abroad.

The government published a bill in 2018 requiring the declaration of the ultimate owners of property in the UK. But it is still waiting to be presented to the House of Representatives.

money envelope

money envelope

A 2019 parliamentary report said the UK system attracts people “like money launderers, who may want to use property to hide illicit money”.

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He said criminal investigations are often seen “disabled” Because the police cannot know who the ultimate owner of the property is.

The government also recently raised the money laundering risk through real estate from “medium” to “high”.

It says it is cracking down on money laundering with stricter laws and enforcement, and that it will provide a record of the company Navy Own property in the UK when Parliamentary time permits.

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Pandora’s Papers is a leak of nearly 12 million documents and files exposing the wealth and secret deals of world leaders, politicians and billionaires. The data was acquired by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in Washington, DC and led to one of the most important global investigations in history. Over 600 journalists from 117 countries have analyzed the hidden fortunes of some of the most powerful people on the planet. .’s search program BBC Panorama and The Guardian led the investigation in the UK.

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