More than 330 politicians from 91 nations several, including 35 heads of state and government, heads of services, generals, public managers. But also celebrities, singers, sportsmen and supermodels. And even a boss of the Camorra. Thousands of names linked together by a single common denominator: they are all customers of 14 international studies that produce offshore companies: they are based in states where there are no taxes and where the owners can stay anonymous. The latest international journalistic investigation, coordinated by theInternational Consortium of Investigative Journalists (Icij). Is called Pandora papers, because – as the ICIJ explains – it is destined to uncover a real one Pandora’s box. And it is a much more extensive investigation of the Panama papers, the investigation that in 2016 revealed the archives of the law firm to the world Mossack Fonseca. “The Pandora Papers shed light on a much broader cross-section of the attorneys and intermediaries at the center dell’industria offshore, provide more than double the ownership information of offshore companies. In all, the new leak reveals the real owners of beyond 29,000 offshore companies. The owners come from more than 200 countries, mostly Russia, UK, Argentina and China ”, reads the ICIJ website. In practice it is 11.9 million confidential files on which for two years they have worked more than 600 journalists of 150 newspapers from different countries, including The Washington Post, Bbc, The Guardian, Radio France, The World, El Pais and the Italian weekly the Espresso.
Journalism consortium analysts “identified 956 companies in offshore havens linked to 336 high-level politicians and public officials, including country leaders, cabinet ministers, ambassadors and others. More than two thirds of these companies were incorporated in British Virgin Islands, a jurisdiction long known as a key cog in the offshore system ”. The secret documents, which will be published in Italy starting next week, reveal the offshore reports of the king of Jordan, of the presidents of Ukraine, Kenya and Ecuador, the prime minister of the Czech Republic and the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The files also describe the financial assets of what is referred to as the “minister of unofficial propaganda” of Vladimir Putin and more than 130 billionaires from Russia, the United States, Turkey. On the website ofInternational Consortium of Investigative Journalists it is explained that among the documents there is the property of “a castle from 22 million dollars on the French Riviera – with a cinema and two swimming pools – purchased through offshore companies by the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Andrej Babis, which in the election campaign lashed out against the corruption of the economic and political elites ”. And then “three villas on the beach of Malibu purchased through three offshore companies for 68 million dollars from the king of Jordan“. The consortium stresses that “at least $ 11.3 trillion is held offshore, according to a 2020 study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Due to the complexity and secrecy of the offshore system, it is not possible to know how much of that wealth is tied up to tax evasion“.
The ICIJ website also explains that “in 2017, Blair and his wife, Cherie, have become owners of a $ 8.8 million Victorian building acquiring the company of British Virgin Islands who owned it. The London building now houses Cherie Blair’s law firm. The logs indicate that Cherie Blair and her husband, who served as a diplomat in the Middle East after stepping down as premier in 2007, bought the offshore company that owned the building from the family of Bahrain’s Minister of Industry and Tourism, Zayed bin Rashid al-Zayani. . By purchasing the company’s stock, the Blairs benefited from a legal settlement that saved them from having to pay more than $ 400,000 in property taxes. ” Blair’s wife claimed that “her husband was not involved in the transaction and that its purpose was to bring the company and the building back into the UK tax and regulatory regime ”.
The journalists Paolo Biondani, Vittorio Malagutti e Leo Sisti onEspresso explain that in the Pandora papers there is also the name of the Minister of Economy of Holland, Wopke Hoekstra, known for his positions against Italy in the name of European financial rigor. According to top secret documents Hoekstra “In 2009 he joined an offshore controlled by a consortium of former managers of a banking giant in Amsterdam, Abn-Amro. And so he became one of the anonymous shareholders of a well-known safari company in Africa. He remained in the offshore even after his election as senator. And it has never declared its foreign investment “. In Ukraine the former comedian who became president, Volodymyr Zelens’kyj , has been the secret owner of one for years offshore company linked to a TV production company. Before the election he sold his shares to Sergiy Shefir, later appointed advisor to the Ukrainian presidency.
Among the names included in the Pandora papers also that of Raffaele Amato, formerly at the head of the Camorra clan of the “splinters“, Arrested in 2009 in Spain and then extradited to Italy, where he is serving a sentence of twenty years. According to the news consortium, Amato used a trust company based in Monte Carlo to screen the property of a British company, which bought land and properties in Spain. His trustees did not answer questions from reporters. Then there is Delfo Zorzi, the former right-wing extremist, definitively acquitted for the massacre of piazza Fontana after a first degree conviction. With its Japanese name, Hagen Roi, figure among the customers of Fidinam, a Swiss trust company. In the very long list, the Espresso also found foreign companies that ended up at the center of the Spanish tax authorities’ investigation on Carlo Ancelotti, the Real Madrid coach, who did not answer reporters’ questions. But not only. Because according to the previews, among the names involved in the Pandora papers there are also world stars such as Shakira, Elton John, Julio Iglesias and the supermodel Claudia Schiffer, registered with the mother’s surname.