1.4 terabytes of data containing 13.4 million files released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) reveals where the world’s wealthiest people stash their monies.
The documents, which come from Appleby, a law firm that specializes in offshore accounts, were leaked to the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, who shared them with the ICIJ.
The files, dubbed the Paradise Papers, similar to the 2016 leak dubbed the Panama Papers, feature more of the world’s wealthiest and just how they avoid tax.
While more big names are expected to come later in the week, the initial reports detail offshore accounts kept by Queen Elizabeth II, Bukola Saraki, former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, U2 frontman Bono, and a close adviser and chief fundraiser to the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Wilbur Ross, appointed US Commerce Secretary by President Donald Trump, has been revealed to own a stake in a Russian shipping company closely linked to Vladimir Putin.
The documents also show how Twitter and Facebook received hundreds of millions of dollars in investments from Russian institutions closely linked to Putin, through a business associate of Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Saraki’s company, Tenia Ltd. described in Appleby’s records as “a holding company,” was established in the Cayman Islands in 2001.
The company’s listed address, 30 Saka Tinubu Street, Victoria Island, was one of the properties investigated in 2016 during Saraki’s alleged false declaration of assets.
Although the keeping of offshore accounts is not illegal, it does raise a question of ethics, and are seen as one of the reasons for the widening divide between the rich and the poor.