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International

What are the Paradise Papers? Tax secrets of wealthy including the Queen and Trump's cabinet exposed

14:20, Monday, 06 November, 2017
What are the Paradise Papers? Tax secrets of wealthy including the Queen and Trump's cabinet exposed
     The Paradise Papers, which have been released today, have exposed the tax secrets of the wealthiest people in the world, including the Queen and members of Donald Trump's cabinet.
     More than 13.4 million leaked files show the offshore activities of the most powerful people and companies on the planet, and how they protect their wealth.
     The files, which came from offshore law firms and company registries have been investigated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists after they were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
     The findings are set to be published over the coming days but some details have already been revealed.
     According to The Guardian, which has had access to the files, the project contains information about the Queen, suggesting millions of pounds from her private estate has been invested in funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, as well as some of her money going to a retailer accused of exploiting poor families and vulnerable people.The payments have been placed in accounts by the Duchy of Lancaster, which handles the Queen's investments.
     Around £10m of the Queen's private cash is said to have been tied up in offshore portfolios, the BBC reported.

There is nothing to suggest that the investments are illegal, the report added, but they could raise questions as to whether the monarch should be investing money offshore.Offshore dealings have also been made by Trump's cabinet members, advisers and donors.
     The papers uncovered substantial payments from a firm co-owned by Russian President Vladimir Putin's son-in-law to a shipping group in which billionaire US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross owns a stake, the Guardian reported.
     The papers revealed Ross' links with Putin allies who are under US sanctions, stating that he has an interest in Navigator Holdings through a chain of offshore investments.
     Navigator is paid millions a year to transport oil and gas for the Russian energy firm Sibur. Two of the firm's shareholders are under US sanctions, while another part-owner is Putin's son-in-law Kirill Shamalov.
     The Paradise Papers come just over a year after the ICIJ published 11.5 million documents, dubbed the Panama Papers, which revealed how some of the world's wealthiest and most powerful people legally hide their money.

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