Why Paradise Papers matter.
LONDON The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published the latest of its investigations into the financial affairs of the rich and famous, detailing how some of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful people legally hide their cash offshore. The latest installment — which follows on from 2015’s Panama Papers — has been dubbed the “Paradise Papers” and consists more than 13 million documents, obtained mostly from law firm Appleby, a leading adviser on offshore affairs. No wrongdoing is being alleged by the ICIJ: “There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any people, companies or other entities included in the ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly.” Business Insider scanned the first set of papers released by the ICIJ — it will release more as the week goes on — for newsworthy or prominent individuals in the world of celebrity and politics. Here are some of the most interesting people named so far. The Queen The most striking name in the latest leak is that of Her Majesty The Queen. The Duchy of Lancaster, which provides the Queen with an income and deals with the investments for her £500 million private estate, is shown to have invested as much as £10 million offshore in funds based in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. “Our investment strategy is based on advice and recommendation from our investment consultants and appropriate asset allocation,” Chris Adcock, the CFO of the Duchy said in a statement given to the BBC. “The Duchy has only invested in highly regarded private equity funds following a strong recommendation from our investment consultants.” The Queen is not personally involved in any of the investments. Madonna Pop star Madonna is named in the Paradise Papers as having been a shareholder in a medical supply company in Bermuda. The company was registered in 1997 and shuttered in 2013, the papers show. Amitabh Bachchan Bachchan, one of the most recognisable names in India’s enormous Bollywood film industry, is named in the Paradise Papers as having been a “shareholder of a digital media company incorporated in Bermuda in 2002,” according to newspaper the Indian Express. “Till the introduction of the Liberalised Remittance Scheme in 2004, all investments abroad made by resident Indians required prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India. It’s not clear if the shareholding was disclosed to RBI,” the paper writes. Names of several Pakistanis, former prime minister Shaukat Aziz among them, have surfaced in the new database of documents, Paradise Papers, released by the International Consortium of Journalists Sunday night. The Paradise Papers reveal data of over 25,000 companies spanning 180 countries, from 1950 to 2016. Around 381 investigative journalists from 67 countries worked extensively to bring facts about the Paradise Papers before the people. Senior News reporter and ICIJ member Umar Cheema was also part of the team which unearthed the Paradise Papers. The leak, which includes 13.4 million documents, comprises a major part of documents leaked from company ‘Appleby’. The documents were obtained from two companies in Singapore and Bermuda by a German newspaper and shared with the ICIJ. Former PM Shaukat Aziz Aziz was an employee of Citibank before becoming Pakistan’s finance minister and then prime minister in General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s government. He was one of the shareholders and directors of Bahamas-registered Cititrust Limited from 1997 to 1999, along with other executives of the bank. In 1999, Aziz was appointed finance minister and created the Antarctic Trust. The Antarctic Trust’s beneficiaries include Aziz’s wife, their children and granddaughte