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revelations Pandora Papers: Trove of leaked files reveal world leaders' cash held offshore

Included are details of a waterfront home in Monaco acquired by a Russian woman who gained considerable wealth after she reportedly had a child with Russian President Vladimir Putin

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A massive trove of private financial records leaked to journalists the secretive offshore system used to hide billions of dollars from tax authorities, creditors, criminal investigators and implicates country leaders around the world.

The revelations include more than $100m spent by King Abdullah II of Jordan on luxury homes in California and elsewhere, plus millions of dollars in property and cash secretly owned by the leaders of the Czech Republic, Kenya, Ecuador and other countries.

It also includes details of a waterfront home in Monaco acquired by a Russian woman who gained considerable wealth after she reportedly had a child with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The files provide substantial new evidence that South Dakota now rivals notoriously opaque jurisdictions in Europe and the Caribbean in financial secrecy.

Tens of millions of dollars from outside the US are now sheltered by trust companies in Sioux Falls, some of it tied to people and companies accused of human rights abuses.

The details are contained in more than 11.9 million financial records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The files include private emails, secret spreadsheets, clandestine contracts and other records that unlock otherwise impenetrable financial schemes and identify the ­individuals behind them.

The trove, dubbed the Pandora Papers, exceeds the dimensions of the leak that was at the centre of the Panama Papers investigation five years ago.

That data was drawn from a single law firm, but the new material encompasses records from 14 separate financial-services entities operating in countries and territories including Switzerland, Singapore, Cyprus, Belize and the British Virgin Islands.

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The papers reveal new details about foreign donors contributing millions to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty.

The papers reveal new details about foreign donors contributing millions to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty.

The papers reveal new details about foreign donors contributing millions to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty.

 

The files detail more than 29,000 offshore accounts, more than double the number identified in the Panama Papers. Among the account owners are 130 people listed as billionaires by Forbes magazine and 330 public officials in more than 90 countries, twice the number found in the ­Panama documents.

As a result, the Pandora Papers allow for the most comprehensive accounting to date of a parallel financial universe whose corrosive effects can span generations – draining significant sums from government treasuries, worsening wealth disparities, and shielding the riches of those who cheat and steal while impeding efforts to find or recover hidden assets.

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“The offshore financial system is a problem that should concern every law-abiding person around the world,” said Sherine Ebadi, a former FBI officer who served as lead agent on dozens of financial-crimes cases.

The package reveals new details about foreign donors contributing millions to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party.
 

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