By Ron Howells • 04 October 2021 • 7:59
Pandora Papers: Secret wealth and dealings of over 600 Spaniards exposed
Pandora Papers: The secret wealth and dealings of over 600 Spaniards, billionaires worldwide and public figures have been exposed.
A global investigation led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) analysed millions of documents has revealed offshore deals and assets of more than 100 billionaires, 30 world leaders and 300 public officials from over 90 countries in the biggest trove of leaked offshore data in history.
They expose the secret offshore affairs of 35 world leaders, including current and former presidents, prime ministers and heads of state. They also shine a light on the secret finances of more than 300 other public officials such as government ministers, judges, mayors and military generals from across the world.
In the data, there are a total of 601 people of Spanish nationality and 751 offshore companies linked to owners or companies with addresses in the Spanish territory. In addition to dozens of relevant personalities, there are at least 54 cases related to open and ongoing court cases.
Most have used Andorran and Spanish lawyers as intermediaries to create opaque instruments in the world’s most secret paradises, from Belize to the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas or the Cook Islands, among others.
The files also include disclosures about major donors to the Conservative party which are bound to raise difficult questions for Boris Johnson as his party meets for its annual conference.
More than 100 billionaires feature in the leaked data, as well as celebrities, rock stars and business leaders. Many use shell companies to hold luxury items such as property and yachts, as well as incognito bank accounts. There is even art ranging from looted Cambodian antiquities to paintings by Picasso and murals by Banksy.
The Pandora papers reveal the inner workings of what is a shadow financial world, providing a rare window into the hidden operations of a global offshore economy that enables some of the world’s richest people to hide their wealth and in some cases pay little or no tax.
In 2016, the Panama Papers, based on the investigation of internal files of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, represented for the first time an inside look at the corporate system in tax shelters. The Pandora Papers are now the box that, when opened, reveals all the evils of that world, as happened with the homonymous first woman created by Zeus in Greek mythology.
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Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!.
Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.
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