Scandal within the rich and famous is among us following a massive leak from the tax haven of Bermuda that reveals the secret investments of the select group.
Entertainment acts, big businesses, heads of state and global figures in politics that have sheltered their wealth in secretive tax heavens are being exposed this week in a major new investigation into Britain’s offshore empires.
Learn bellow everything you need to know about the leak and you might be surprised to learn your favorite artist is among the implicated.
#1 What do the paradise papers reveal
The papers are a huge batch of leaked documents mostly from offshore law firm Appleby, along with corporate registries in 19 tax jurisdictions, which reveal the financial dealings of politicians, celebrities, corporate giants and business leaders.
#2 Where do the files come from
The 13.4 million records were passed to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and then shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) –with partners including the Guardian, the BBC and the New York Times. Suddeutsche Zeitung, is the same German newspaper that took hold of the Panama Papers in April, 2016.
#3 Nearly 400 journalists worked in the investigation
Panorama has led research for the BBC as part of a global investigation involving nearly 100 other media organizations, including the Guardian, in 67 countries. More than 380 journalists have spent a year combing through data that stretches back 70 years in order to publish the investigation.
#4 Why do big names in all industries use tax heavens
According to journalists large business and everyone involved in the leak, move their money through tax havens and it’s moved to evade taxes to hide assets, to steal money.
While putting your money offshore and outside of your country’s financial regulations is legal, many argue hiding from the tax man is unfair.
#5 Members of Donald Trump’s cabinet are involved
During day one of disclosures it was revealed Donald Trump’s Commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross took part in the paradise papers.
#6 The Queen also used overseas tax havens
The Duchy of Lancaster, the private estate of the UK’s monarch, is also allegedly involved. The estate of Elizabeth II invested millions of dollars in medical and consumer loan companies, the files show.
#7 Efforts are under way to raise tax haven revenues in the U.K
Mrs May’s spokesperson told reporters: “It is important to point out that holding investments offshore is not an automatic sign of wrongdoing, but HMRC has requested to see the papers urgently so it can look into any allegations.”
#8 Twitter and Facebook are also in it
According to the investigation Twitter and Facebook received hundreds of millions of dollars in investments that can be traced back to Russian state financial institutions.
#9 Big brands have also use tax heavens
Aggressive tax avoidance by multinational corporations, including Nike and Apple –has also been revealed through the recent findings.
#10 Music, film, TV and sports industries haven’t scape the scandal
Some of the biggest names in the film and TV industries protect their wealth with an array of offshore schemes. Bono from U2 is said to have used Malta-based Company to invest in Lithuanian shopping mall.
The complex offshore webs used by two billionaires to buy stakes in Arsenal and Everton football clubs has also been revealed.