A selection of some of the latest articles from around the word…
PANAMA TO PANDORA: 10 INDIANS WHOSE FINANCIAL RECORDS HAVE FACED ‘LEAKS’
Outlook India has published an article about the top 10 names which propped up in various investigations over the years.
AUSTRALIAN REAL ESTATE CORRUPTION EXPOSED
On 5 October, an article in Macrobusiness summarises real estate corruption said to have been exposed by the Pandora Papers document leak, which show an array of Australian properties that have been secretly purchased by hidden overseas entities with links to corruption.
NIGERIA: HOW GOVERNOR BAGUDU AMASSED BILLIONS AND HOW HE IS HIDING IT
An article from Gistmaster was concerned with Abubakar Bagudu, the current governor of Kebbi State and formerly a senator. It is said that his wealth is a target of ongoing forfeiture proceedings by the US DoJ and allegedly linked to the Abacha family in the 1990s.
UNAOIL: MONEY FROM ‘WORLD’S BIGGEST BRIBE SCANDAL’ INVESTED IN UK PROPERTY
On 5 October, the Guardian reported on Cyrus Ahsani and his brother Saman Ahsani, saying that leaked documents that suggest how proceeds made from the family’s company, Unaoil, were laundered through an intricate chain of offshore companies that secretly helped fund the acquisition of a string of UK properties. The news is said to add to concerns that the UK’s property market is being used by white-collar criminals and kleptocrats to stash fortunes made in corrupt states.
HOW PRAMOD MITTAL ‘OWED’ $1 BILLION – TO PRAMOD MITTAL
On 5 October, The Indian Express carried an article about steel baron LN Mittal’s younger brother Pramod Mittal who, facing bankruptcy proceedings in UK since June 2020, claimed zero income, total assets under £150,000 and denied ownership of his long-time London residence. He is said to have done these to justify an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) in which he offered to pay £4.4 million — or just 0.19% — of the £2.5 billion he said he owed to 20 creditors. In October 2020, the IVA was approved by 75% of Mittal’s creditors. However, the newspaper claims that the BVI the company Mittal claimed he owed over £1 billion to, and another BVI company that he claimed owned his London residence, belong to a Trust in which he himself is a beneficiary – so that, in effect, he was his own creditor and approved his own agreement.
DUTCH FINANCE MINISTER SHOULD EXCUSE HIMSELF FROM AN EU DECISION ON TAX-HAVENS AFTER HE WAS NAMED IN THE ‘PANDORA PAPERS’
On 5 October, EU Business reported calls for Wopke Hoekstra, one of 27 EU politicians, named in the Pandora Papers, to stay out of the EU tax-haven blacklist decision. The Pandora Papers leak showed Hoekstra, a former McKinsey partner, invested €26,500 in safari parks in Kenya and Tanzania via Candace Management in 2009, an offshore company incorporated in the BVI, a British protectorate in the Caribbean.
BRITISH CITIZEN FINANCED AL-QAEDA AND TALIBAN WITH EU VAT FUNDS
On 5 October, the Middle East Monitor reported that a British citizen of Pakistani origin was questioned by the British authorities in 1998 due to a suspected relationship with members of a network involved in fraud operations and VAT evasion. His name appeared in leaked documents obtained under the Pandora Project, with links to 4 offshore companies and he has been accused of being an agent of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban and of founding a cell for collecting funds, and that he had received specialised training to execute a VAT fraud scheme. It is said that the plan was to use global financial institutions to convert fraudulently obtained Euros to US Dollars, and eventually send the money to Afghanistan, Pakistan and UAE to support attacks in Afghanistan. The funds collected through this fraud, from the mid-2000s to 2010, are estimated at more than €1.15 billion. Included in attempts to bring him to justice, in 2017, an Italian court convicted him of conspiring to steal the VAT and demanded that the UAE extradite him, but the UAE refused.
PEP GUARDIOLA PAID HIS 2012 QATARI WAGES INTO A TAX-AVOIDING ANDORRA ACCOUNT
On 5 October, Inside World Football reported that the now-manager of Manchester City faces accusations that he held money in an offshore account in Andorra to avoid paying tax. He allegedly had a current account open in Andorra until 2012 when he took advantage of a tax amnesty in Spain to regularise his finances.
EGYPT: HOW IS CONTROVERSIAL ENERGY TYCOON MAGDY RASIKH STILL IN BUSINESS?
On 5 October, the Middle East Monitor posed this question about controversial oil tycoon Mohammad Magdy Hussein Rasikh, the former chairman of the board of directors of Egypt’s National Gas Company, and the son-in-law of former President Hosni Mubarak.
283 GREEK NAMES TO BE PUBLISHED MID-OCTOBER
On 5 October, the Keep Talking Greece website reported that the leaks do not contain the names of any active or former politician, but a long list of Greek names. It says that the names of 283 Greeks are mentioned in the Pandora leaks and these names are expected to be published in mid-October.
BIGGEST TAX HAVEN IN US? SOUTH DAKOTA, SAYS PANDORA PAPERS INVESTIGATION
On 5 October, CBS News reported that South Dakota and a handful of other US states are increasingly competing as landing pads for global capital hidden from creditors, tax collectors and law enforcement. It is said that one local company, the South Dakota Trust Company, has international clients from 54 nations, and that another, Trident Trust, speaks of the “South Dakota Advantage”.
HOW NOTORIOUS ANTIQUITIES DEALER USED TRUSTS TO HOARD KHMER TREASURES
On 5 October, the Guardian carried an article about Douglas Latchford, who had lorded it over the Cambodian cultural scene for decades and was hailed as an expert and benefactor, before being accused before he died of being a prolific trader in looted antiquities, and charged with criminal offences. The leaks show how show how Latchford formed 2 trusts in Jersey, both named after Hindu gods: the Skanda Trust in 2011 and the Siva Trust in 2012 to facilitate his activities.
FORMER HONG KONG LEADERS CONCEALED WEALTH OFFSHORE
On 5 October, Radio Free Asia reported claims that former Hong Kong leaders Tung Chee-hwa and Leung Chun-ying were named among hundreds of public officials in 91 jurisdictions around the world known to be concealing assets. Both remain part of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) political system for governing Hong Kong.
CHILE: NEW DETAILS ABOUT PRESIDENT PIÑERA’S OFFSHORE COMPANIES
On 5 October, TeleSUR reported that the Pandora Papers revealed details about the corporate network that Chilean President Sebastian Piñera’s children have established in various tax-havens. He transferred his businesses to his sons so as to avoid possible conflicts of interest after becoming President.
AS CATHOLIC ORDER FOUGHT SEX ABUSE CLAIMS, SECRET TRUSTS DEVOTED TO IT POURED MILLIONS INTO AMERICAN RENTAL PROPERTIES
On 5 October, ICIJ reported claims that leaked files reveal nearly $300 million stashed overseas for the Legion of Christ in wake of Vatican investigation. Millions were invested with a corporate landlord that evicted struggling U.S. tenants during pandemic. The Legion of Christ was a wealthy Roman Catholic order disgraced by an international paedophilia scandal.
5 WAYS CELEBRITIES IN THE PANDORA PAPERS USE THE OFFSHORE SYSTEM
On 5 October, ICIJ also reported that the Pandora Papers reveals how the rich and famous also make use of offshore havens, from Jackie Shroff to Shakira, Ringo Starr to Sachin Tendulkar.
6 BOSNIA-HERZOGOVINA COMPANIES MENTIONED IN THE PANDORA PAPERS
On 5 October, the Sarajevo Times said that the question that arises is how come there is not a single politician among the mentioned names.