The Paradise Papers Data Dump: What's Been Reported So FarBy
U.S. Commerce Secretary faces financial disclosure questions
Queen Elizabeth II made investments in a Cayman Islands fund
A new set of data taken from an offshore law firm again threatens to expose the hidden wealth of individuals and show how corporations, hedge funds and others may have skirted taxes. A year after the Panama Papers, a massive leak of confidential information from the Bermuda law firm Appleby Group Services Ltd. has shone another light on the use of offshore accounts.
Here are the highlights so far of the reporting by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and partner news outlets on the so-called Paradise Papers. Bloomberg hasn’t seen the leaked documents:
- U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross faces questions about his financial disclosures to Congress and the government after a report that he didn’t disclose business ties to the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin and an oligarch under U.S. sanctions. The Appleby documents included details of Ross’s stake in a shipping company, Navigator Holdings, according to the New York Times.
- House Republicans should slow down their consideration of a tax-overhaul bill after the investigative reports alleged offshore tax-avoidance by U.S. multinational companies including Apple Inc. and Nike Inc., congressional Democrats and tax-advocacy groups said.
- Canadian tax authorities are reviewing reports linking a key fundraiser for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to offshore trusts in the Caribbean. Montreal-based businessman Stephen Bronfman, son of billionaire Charles Bronfman, was among the individuals cited by news organizations including the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Radio-Canada and the Toronto Star in Sunday’s leak of bank documents.
- Commodities trader Glencore Plc was one of the top clients of Appleby, which even had a "Glencore Room" at its Bermuda office that kept information on the trader’s 107 offshore companies, according to the ICIJ investigation.
- Prominent Silicon Valley investor Yuri Milner, who was an early backer of Facebook Inc., partnered in two investments with the Russian state-controlled bank VTB Bank PJSC before it was sanctioned, his spokesman confirmed Friday. Details about the relationship between Milner and VTB surfaced in the wake of the Paradise Papers.
- Indonesian authorities are investigating if former presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto and the children of ex-dictator Suharto, named in the leaked documents, are in breach of the country’s tax laws.
- A North Korean was listed in the leaked documents as a shareholder in a Malta-based company which may have been involved in the overseas transfer of North Korean construction workers, according to Newstapa, a South Korean partner of the ICIJ.
- Queen Elizabeth II of the U.K. made a series of investments in a Cayman Islands fund through the British Royal Family’s private estate, the Duchy of Lancaster, according to The Guardian newspaper.
- Lord Michael Ashcroft, a major donor to the U.K.’s Conservative Party, had links to a Bermuda-based trust with assets worth as much as $450 million, The Guardian reported.
— With assistance by Kit Chellel