global dive into the secrets of offshore finance

By Jérémie Baruch, Anne Michel, Maxime Vaudano and ICIJ

Posted today at 6:32 p.m., updated at 6:40 p.m.

It is the nightmare of the rich and powerful who resort to tax havens to conceal their assets from prying eyes: a leak, a massive leak of confidential data, which sheds a harsh light on their secrets.

This dreaded day has arrived for the 35 heads of state (former or current) and the 130 billionaires who appear in the “Pandora Papers”, the new survey by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), whose The world is a partner. Nearly 12 million documents, coming from the most opaque offshore centers on the planet, were transmitted by an anonymous source to a consortium of 150 international media, including Radio France and “Cash Investigation” in France.

The ICIJ and its partners had access to the archives of fourteen separate firms, all specialists in the creation of limited companies. Fourteen links in the long chain that turns the parallel world of offshore, where the classic rules of the economy (transparency, fairness, responsibility) do not apply. Their names will not speak to the general public: Trident Trust, DadLaw, SFM, Alcogal, Il Shin…

However, like the Mossack Fonseca firm, at the heart of the “Panama Papers” scandal in 2016, these firms spread out in tax havens with usually well-kept secrets (Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, Dubai, etc.). ) play a central role in this system biased in favor of the richest, able to afford, for a few thousand euros, the protection of a front company.

Life insurance against political risks

Among the tens of thousands of company owners revealed by the “Pandora Papers”, including 600 French, are an unprecedented number of high-level politicians from all over the world: former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Gabonese President Ali Bongo, Ivorian Prime Minister Patrick Achi, Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso… At their side, a handful of French politicians, often walled in silence when explaining the raison d’être of their offshore companies. In total, the ICIJ counted in the leak more than 300 public officials from all over the world.

You have 78.57% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.

source site