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The secret offshore wealth of world leaders: Leak of 12 MILLION files reveals multi-million dollar holdings

Secret offshore wealth of world leaders revealed in leak of 12 MILLION files dubbed

The secret offshore wealth of more than 300 world leaders, politicians and billionaires has been exposed in one of the biggest ever leaks of financial data.
Dubbed the Pandora Papers, the documents show how 35 current and former world leaders - including associates of Vladimir Putin - used accounts in tax havens to accrue huge amounts of wealth and carry out transactions. 
The files consist of 12 million documents from 14 financial services companies in countries including the British Virgin Islands, Panama, Belize, Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Switzerland.

They were obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) before being studied by more than 650 reporters from BBC Panorama, the Guardian and other news outlets. 

They reveal that former British prime minister Mr Blair and his wife Cherie saved some $434,000 (£321,000) in stamp duty when they bought an office in London by purchasing the offshore company that owned it.

Meanwhile Russian President Mr Putin was linked to secret assets in Monaco, while an offshore company owned by his alleged lover purchased a $4.1million apartment below the principality's casino. 

The luxury fourth-floor flat was purchased by Brockville Development Ltd, which was eventually traced back to Svetlana Krivonogikh, reported the Guardian.

The woman, who was 28 at the time, is said by Russian investigative outlet Proekt to be the mother of Putin’s child, after giving birth to Elizaveta, or Luiza, in March of the same year.

A luxury fourth-floor flat below Monaco’s casino was bought by Brockville Development Ltd, which was eventually traced back to Svetlana Krivonogikh (pictured), alleged to be a lover of Mr Putin and the mother of his child

A luxury fourth-floor flat below Monaco’s casino was bought by Brockville Development Ltd, which was eventually traced back to Svetlana Krivonogikh (pictured), alleged to be a lover of Mr Putin and the mother of his child  

Since becoming friends with Putin, the former cleaner seems to have amassed a luxury portfolio of assets, including a flat in a well-to-do area of St Petersburg, other properties in Moscow and a yacht, coming to a total of $100million - the Kremlin has refused to comment. 

Meanwhile, the King of Jordan was able to secretly add £70million worth of property to his portfolios in the UK and US - mainly in Malibu, California and in London and Ascot, the papers showed. 

While many of the transactions - made by tens of thousands of different offshore firms -feature no legal wrongdoing, they expose how the UK Government has failed in its promise to bring in a register of offshore property owners.

There are concerns that some of the purchases could be the work of money laundering - while some of those named now face allegations of corruption and global tax avoidance.      

The release of the documents could not have come at a worse time for Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis - who is facing an election later this week - as they show how he failed to declare an offshore investment company used to purchase two villas for $16.2million in the south of France. 

The papers follow four other huge data leaks in the past seven years - including the FinCen Files, the Paradise Papers, Panama Papers and LuxLeaks. 

They also show how some 95,000 offshore firms were legally set up to secretly by property in Britain.   

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his family and close associates snapped up more than £400million worth of property in the UK using offshore accounts, the papers revealed.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his family and close associates snapped up more than £400million worth of property in the UK using offshore accounts, the papers revealed.

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