A financial intelligence report has exposed how a number of world leaders, business patriots, high profile individuals, Head of States of Government, from Jordan, Azerbaijan, Kenya, Japan, the Czech Republic, etc, used offshore tax havens to launder assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a new investigation by the ICIJ media consortium. ayokinews.com reports
The “Pandora Papers” deep financial investigation which involved 600 Investigative Journalists from various media outlets ranging from The Washington Post, BBC and The Guardian, is based on the leak of some 11.9 million finance documents from fourteen (14) financial service companies across the globe.
The investigation exposed some 35 current and former world leaders who featured in the latest vast trove of documents which was analyzed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) — facing allegations ranging from corruption, money laundering and global tax evasion.
On the Investigation, the ICIJ stressed that in most countries, it is not illegal to own assets offshore or to use Shell companies in doing businesses across national borders.
But such financial revelations are an embarrassment for leaders who might have one way or the other campaigned publicly against tax evasion and gross corruption or advocated austerity measures at home.
The “Pandora Papers” financial documents specifically exposed how Jordan’s King Abdullah II created a network of offshore shell companies and tax havens to acquire a $100 million property in Malibu, California to Washington, US and London, UK.
The Jordanian embassy in Washington, US, refused making any comments in regards to the financial exposure but the BBC cited lawyers of the Jordanian King saying all the properties acquired were purchased using personal wealth and that it was a common practice for world leaders to use offshore companies to acquire properties for privacy and security concerns.
Moreover, the family and associates of the of Azerbaijani President, Ilham Aliyev, who have longed been accused of gross corruption in the Central Asian country, are alleged to have also been secretly involved in property deals in Britain worth hundreds of millions.
The document also exposed how Czech Republic Prime Minister, Andrej Babis, who is to face an election this week, failed to declare his offshore investment company which he used in the purchase of a $22 million dollar “chateau” in the south of France.
Reacting to the revelation, Prime Minister Andrej Babis, fired backed in a tweet saying the “Pandora Papers” investigative reports was a smear campaign aimed at influencing his election.
Justifying himself, Babis tweeted, “I have never done anything illegal or wrong.”
So many world celebrities were also exposed on allegations of tax evasion via offshore companies by the ICIJ “Pandora Papers” report.
Although the Kremlin, Russia and some other countries have dismissed the “Pandora Papers” investigative report as being false while Pakistan and some other countries have promised to investigate the financial misdemeanor.