A massive trove of newly released confidential records exposes lucrative tax havens for some of the world’s most rich and powerful figures, from Jordan’s king to spicy pop singer Sharika — and even an underground art dealer whose collections have been displayed at The Met.
Dubbed the “Pandora Papers,” the records consist of nearly 12 million documents detailing systematic tax-dodging by 14 firms that use off-shore bank accounts that hide the fortunes and assets of hundreds of wealthy clients.
The records, the largest ever leak of confidential documents, were compiled and released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a worldwide coalition of media organizations.
Among those nabbed with off-shore accounts are 35 current and former world leaders, including Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who had hidden $106 million from the purchase of mansions in Malibu and elsewhere, according to a report in the Washington Post.
Also shielding their assets from taxes were Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Douglas Latchford, an indicted antiquities dealer linked to looted Cambodian artifacts — whose art collections have been displayed at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art — allegedly used the offshore accounts to conceal profits from underground art trading.
Tony Blair, Britain’s longest-serving prime minister, avoided paying more than $580,000 in property transfer taxes by purchasing an $11 million London mansion by buying the property through shares from a British Virgin Islands holding company, the papers show.
Colombian-born singer Shakira, who is already in tax trouble for allegedly not paying her taxes in Spain, set up offshore entities in the British Virgin Islands to conceal assets, according to the Pandora Papers.
Sports figures, including Canadian Olympic figure skater Elvis Stojko and Formula 1 race car driver Jacques Villeneuve, also made the lengthy list.
The records, with 2.94 terabytes of data, dwarf the Panama Papers in size.