Paradise Papers shed more light on the wealth of the rich, famous and powerful

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By Stelios Orphanides

A new major leak of documents, dubbed the ‘Paradise Papers’, show how politicians, including heads of governments and states and their family members, entrepreneurs, companies and celebrities set up offshore companies in various jurisdictions including Cyprus in an attempt to evade taxes or even conceal questionable transactions and wealth and launder funds.

The data, comprised of 13.4 million documents and leaked from the Bermuda-based Appleby law firm, was obtained by Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung. They include references to advisors of US President Donald Trump, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and former heads of government.

Not all persons whose names appear in the reports are necessarily involved in criminal activity.

The new revelations shed light on the business ties of US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, the former vice-chairman of Bank of Cyprus, with a shipping company which has a business relationship with a company owned by people in Russian president Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, according to reports published in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ) and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) reveal.

The new reports also show that Marina Sechina, former wife of Putin’s close aide Igor Sechin, invested dozens of millions of euros in schemes involving offshore companies even after neither she nor her former husband had declared sufficient income or significant assets justifying the investment.

They also show how Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko appears to be involved in questionable transactions in a probable violation of his country’s capital controls with the use of offshore firms, including one in Cyprus.

According to the leak, Queen Elizabeth of England has reportedly invested in a Cayman Islands-based fund controlling a company selling household goods to UK consumers with questionable practices.

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About Author

Stelios Orphanides is a journalist at CyprusBusinessMail.com. To contact Stelios Orphanides: [email protected]

  • Bob Ellis

    Wilbur Ross. Independent business billionaire, then chair of BoC and now US Secretary of Commerce. Nobody found this strange as it was happening ? Unrelated question, what has happened to the investigation into Putins involvement in the US elections ?

    • alexander reutersward

      interesting to know if he had possibilities to hide things in BoC that would affect friends globally.

      • Bob Ellis

        The BoC is still hiding massive financial problems in it’s books, so I guess a few rogue transactions facilitated via third parties in the mist that is international finance would have happened.

    • gentlegiant161

      Ross is reported to be implicated
      In several transactions of dubious nature
      No doubt more of the findings will float to the surface and be under scrutiny.
      One of the more bizzarre ones is that Bono used an offshore route of funds to buy a Lithuanian shopping mall. …

      • Bob Ellis

        but he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for….

  • Neroli

    Maybe time to go through BoC books?

    • plexor

      The attorney general Costas Clerides should fail this time faster, as the BoC works maybe again on hard disc deletions to destroy proofs.

  • plexor

    Rich, famous and powerfull

    and former Bank of Cyprus vice-president together with RU-oligarch Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, another Putin-friend.