10 Nov 2017
As daily developments emerge from the Paradise Papers scandal, we look at the biggest names revealed in the data breach – and the claims made against them.
The Duchy of Lancaster, which manages the Queen’s estate and provides her with an income, invested about £10 million of the monarch’s private money offshore, leaked documents show.
Funds were held in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, and a small amount was invested in alcohol retailer Threshers – which went bust owing £17 million in UK tax – and BrightHouse, a chain which has been accused of irresponsible lending to the poor and vulnerable.
The Queen is not thought to have known about where her money was being invested, while the Duchy said it had been unaware of the companies featured in the investments.
Documents from the Paradise Papers have also shown that the Prince of Wales’ private estate secretly invested in an offshore company which lobbied to alter climate change agreements.
Prince Charles had no direct involvement in the investment decisions, according to the Duchy of Cornwall which handles his private finances.
However, the Duchy trebled its investments to the company called Sustainable Forestry Ltd over the course of a year, a company which lobbied to allow carbon credits from rainforests to be traded – an issue on which the heir to Britain’s throne made speeches in support of.
Prince Charles has rejected the accusation that he spoke on the subject which the Duchy invested in.
Donald Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was revealed as having business links with Russian allies of President Vladimir Putin – who are under US sanctions.
He is accused of withholding information about his involvement with Navigator Holdings, a shipping firm which is connected to energy company Sibur – and which is controlled by figures close to Vladimir Putin.
Tw Sibur shareholders are under US sanctions.
A commerce department spokesman told BBC’s Panorama that the secretary “works closely with Commerce Department ethics officials to ensure the highest ethical standards”, adding: “Secretary Ross recuses himself from any matters focused on transoceanic shipping vessels.”
Offshore schemes which may have cost Canada millions of dollars in taxes have been linked to Stephen Bronfman, senior adviser and chief fundraiser to Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party.
According to the documents, Mr Bronfman’s investment company moved millions offshore on behalf of the family of Leo Kolber – a former senator – for 20 years.
Lawyers acting for Mr Bronfman said all deals were legal and were not linked to tax evasion.
The U2 frontman – real name Paul Hewson – is said to have used a company in the low-tax jurisdiction of Malta to buy a stake in a shopping mall in Lithuania.
Anti-poverty campaigner Hewson said in a statement: “I’ve been assured by those running the company that it is fully tax compliant, but if that is not the case I want to know as much as the tax office does, and so I also welcome the audit they have said they will undertake.”
The Lithuanian shopping mall is now under investigation for potential tax avoidance. The company which runs the mall had denied any wrongdoing.
Mrs Brown’s Boys actors
Three actors from the BBC sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys are said to have diverted their fees into companies based in Mauritius and redirected the money back as loans as part of an alleged offshore tax avoidance scheme.
According to documents leaked as part of the Paradise Papers, more than £2 million was transferred offshore by Patrick Houlihan and Martin and Fiona Delany.
None of the actors have responded to the claims.
Tech giant Apple – the world’s most profitable company – were accused of “shopping around” for a tax haven to avoid paying billions in taxes.
Following a crackdown in 2013 on its tax practices in Ireland, the company is said to have moved part of its business holding untaxed offshore funds to Jersey, in the Channel Islands.
Apple denied the move had lowered its taxes and instead claimed it remained the world’s largest tax contributor.
Documents showed multinational corporation Glencore diverted millions of dollars through Bermuda and other tax havens, and exposed a secret loan used to help secure lucrative mining rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The company – one of the world’s largest firms – is said to have loaned a businessman previously accused of corruption $45 million.
The money is said to have gone to Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, who has close links with senior figures in the African country’s government, in 2009.
Both he and Glencore have denied any wrongdoing.
Formula One star Lewis Hamilton “dodged” the VAT on his new luxury jet, documents show.
He received a £3.3 million VAT refund on the £16.5 million Bombardier Challenger 605 after it was imported into the Isle of Man in 2013.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Hamilton say the actions were legal.
A previously unknown $450 million offshore trust protecting the wealth of Conservative Party donor Lord Ashcroft has been revealed by the Paradise Papers.
Documents also revealed that the peer retained his “non-dom” status and avoided paying tax showing that he was domiciled in Belize.
Non-doms only pay tax on their UK income, while British citizens are taxed on everything they own.
Lord Ashcroft has denied any wrongdoing.
– This article will be updated as the story develops
Count reading this article to your CPD minutes, by signing up to our CPD WalletFREE CPD Wallet