Pandora Papers: Secret wealth and dealings of world leaders exposed


Orthodox Inquirer
I had actually mentioned this is my 'OP-correct' (Post 8), but then scratched that part because my explanation was convoluted (unlike your nice 'one line' concise summary). The bizarre part that I can't understand, though, is why the problem corrects itself after I log-in (text becomes readable white script on black background); the white-out affect (minus the blue Link) only occurs when logged-out. If I may trouble you, GuitarVH, how do you see (or not see) the OP (Post 1) when logged-in, vs logged-out.

Looks like you got it fixed. Just to answer your question, it appeared the same to me whether logged in or out.


Quelle surprise: Tony Blair has businesses on the British Virgin Islands.

Only the poor pay taxes.
This is what it boils down to, although a lot of the leaks were outright fraud. The USA and many island countries are "tax havens" because of how their law is written. Yeah, these guys are using shell companies and trusts to hide money or protect it, but so can any average American. You could go and make an asset protection trust or a holding company for other businesses and do the same thing. It's written into the tax code. There's already ways to deduct most of your income if you do it right, and these people are smart enough to take advantage of it whereas the average Joe can barely punch a time clock and just lets the government keep all of his taxes every year, even if he could get them all back plus other tax credits.

From Wikipedia:
In total, 35 current and former national leaders appear in the leak, alongside 400 public officials from nearly 100 countries and more than 100 billionaires.[14] As per laws of tax, some of the activities were legal but could not be justified. Some files were showing the date of 1970, but they were actually created between the years 1996 to 2020. The data included 130 billionaires listed by the Forbes, over 330 politicians, celebrities, members of the royal families and even some religious leaders. Among those names are former British prime minister Tony Blair, Chilean president Sebastián Piñera, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, Montenegrin president Milo Đukanović, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, Qatari emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, United Arab Emirates prime minister and Dubai ruler Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Gabonese president Ali Bongo Ondimba, Lebanese prime minister Najib Mikati,[15] Ecuadorian president Guillermo Lasso, family members of former Argentine president Mauricio Macri and his spin-doctor, Ecuadorian Jaime Durán Barba,[16][17][18] and Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades.[19][20] More than 100 billionaires, 29,000 offshore accounts, 30 current and former leaders, and 336 politicians[21] were named in the first leaks on 3 October 2021.[1][11]

King Abdullah II of Jordan is one of the main figures named in the papers, with documents showing he had invested over US$100 million in property across the UK and the US; they included houses in Malibu, California,[22] Washington, D.C., London and Ascot in the UK.[23][24] A UK company controlled by Cherie Blair was shown to have acquired a £6.45 million property in London by purchasing Romanstone International Limited, a British Virgin Islands company; had the property been acquired directly, £312,000 would have been payable in stamp duty. Tony Blair's name appears in a statement of joint income for the associated mortgage.[25]

The papers also reveal how an office block owned by Azerbaijan's ruling Aliyev family was sold to the Crown Estate, the sovereign's public estate, for £66 million in 2018, netting the Aliyevs a £31 million profit. Another office block worth £33 million was sold to the family in 2009, and was gifted to the son of Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev, Heydar.[5] According to Las Vegas Sun, "Members of the inner circle of Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan are accused of hiding millions of dollars in wealth in secret companies or trusts".[26] Supporters of former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko accused his successor Zelensky, who came to power on an anti-corruption campaign, of tax evasion.[27] Elsewhere, close associates of Russian president Vladimir Putin, like Svetlana Krivonogikh and Gennady Timchenko, were revealed to have secret assets in Monaco, and Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš, who had campaigned on promising to crack down on corruption and tax evasion, did not declare the use of an offshore investment company in the purchase of eight properties, including two villas, in Mougins on the French Riviera for £12 million.[5][28][29] As a result of the Pandora Papers, more information emerged about Russia-linked, allegedly Kremlin-linked, donations to the Tories.[30] Uhuru Kenyatta was also mentioned, despite being quoted in 2018 as stating, "Every public servant's assets must be declared publicly so that people can question and ask – what is legitimate?"[11] Kenyatta and six members of his family have been linked to 13 offshore companies.[31] The leaked list also includes transnational criminal organization leaders, such as Raffaele Amato, boss of the Amato-Pagano clan, a clan within the Camorra, dedicated to international drug trafficking. Amato used a shell company in the UK to buy land and real estate in Spain.[32][33][34]

Other global names mentioned include Shakira, who was incorporating new offshore entities while going on trial for tax evasion; model Claudia Schiffer; Indian cricket player Sachin Tendulkar; Indian billionaire Anil Ambani; fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi’s sister Purvi Modi; Alexandre Cazes, the founder of the dark web site AlphaBay, used to deal in illegal drugs; Pakistani finance minister, Shaukat Fayaz Ahmed Tarin, and several of family members of Pakistan's top generals; and the CEO of Channel One Russia, Konstantin Ernst. Miguel Bosé, Pep Guardiola and Julio Iglesias are also named.[35][36][37][38][39][40]

That's the gist of what the Pandora Papers covers. This is about stuff like drug trafficking and political scandals from major political figures. It's not how some rich company legally gamed the system.

I had seen other leaks before, namely the Panama Papers (actually mixed those two up when I first typed this) and it's more of the same. It's not just about them gaming the tax code. They're involved in some seriously shady stuff.

The main issue for me is just how much money these people can accumulate without getting caught. Even in America, the average person won't make a single million dollars over the course of their entire lifetime. That's 1 million. These people are hiding BILLIONS of dollars. That's having thousands of millions at one time, where the average person won't have more than maybe $20,000 besides value in a mortgage or a vehicle.
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