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Paradise Papers: Elizabeth II And Relatives Of Trump And Putin Targeted By The Investigation

 Paradise papers: Elisabeth II and relatives of Trump and Putin targeted by the investigation© Phil Noble Source: Reuters Queen Elizabeth II with Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, in 2012 in Nottingham

An international journalistic investigation lifted the veil on November 5 on planetary circuits of tax optimization, relying on a massive leak of documents. Eighteen months after the Panama Papers case on tax evasion, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which brings together 96 media outlets from 67 countries, has begun to unveil the “Paradise Papers”.

In support of these revelations: the leak of 13.5 million financial documents, notably from a Bermuda-based international law firm, Appleby, obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung .

Documents from Appleby reveal that US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has retained stakes in a shipping company with close business ties with a wealthy Russian businessman targeted by US sanctions and with a son-in-law Vladimir Putin, according to the New York Times . The documents revealed by the consortium of journalists also contain information relating to the imposition of a hundred multinationals, including Nike, Apple and Uber.

The circuits used by high net worth individuals and multinationals to move their funds to tax havens are not in themselves illegal. This practice is played by regulatory loopholes to enable them to pay the least amount of taxes possible.

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A friend of Justin Trudeau in turmoil

In the UK, about ten million pounds of Queen Elizabeth II assets have been placed in funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, according to the BBC and The Guardian .

In Canada, billionaire Stephen Bronfman, head of the former seagram liquor company, and his godfather Leo Kolber, placed 60 million US dollars (52 million euros) in an offshore company in the Cayman Islands. according to revelations from the  Toronto Star .

This friend of Justin Trudeau, head of fundraising during the 2015 election campaign on behalf of the Canadian Liberal Party, could be cumbersome for the Prime Minister, elected on promises of reducing inequality and tax justice.

The funds of the Queen of England questioned

The funds of Queen Elizabeth II placed in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, 10 million pounds (11.3 million euros), were made via the Duchy of Lancaster, private domain of the sovereign and source of income.

The funds placed in these tax havens are invested in many companies, including Brighthouse, a rental company with the option to purchase furniture and computer equipment accused of misery, or a chain of liquor stores today. in bankruptcy filing.

“All our investments are fully audited and are legitimate,” a spokesman for the Duchy of Lancaster told AFP. “We are making a number of investments, including some with funds abroad.” They represent only 0.3% of the total value of the duchy, she said.

Labor opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn reacted on Twitter, saying there is “one rule for the super rich, another for the others when it comes to paying taxes.”

-AFP

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Written by How Africa

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