Pandora Papers reveal financial dealings of some of world's most powerful people - BBC News

Pandora Papers reveal financial dealings of some of world's most powerful people - BBC News

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the offshore dealings of presidents prime ministers and royalty are revealed in almost 12 million files obtained by the international consortium of investigative journalists they reveal the secrets of world leaders from the king of jordan to vladimir putin to tony blair before he came to power the then labor leader attacked the offshore system that allowed wealthy people to gain tax advantages unavailable to most of us millionaires with the right accountant
00:29
pay nothing whilst pensioners pay bat on fuel offshore trusts get tax relief while homeowners pay vat on insurance premiums we will create a tax system that is fair which is related to ability to pay years later in 2017 tony and cherie blair bought this townhouse in central london for 6.45 million pounds but rather than buy the house as you or i would they bought the offshore company
01:03
that owned it saving more than 300 000 pounds in stamp duty that doesn't look right and it partly doesn't look great because most people cannot do the same thing and so even if what the players did was perfectly legal perfectly legitimate in the business world it feels instinctively really unfair because they got access to an advantage a potential advantage that the rest of us don't have cherie blair told the bbc they didn't request to structure the transaction
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this way and that after purchase they had brought the property under uk tax and regulatory rules the spokesman added the couple will be liable for tax on capital gains on resale the files also reveal how a prominent tory donor supported boris johnson's leadership campaign was involved in one of europe's biggest corruption scandals the campaign is over and the work begins thank you all very much a well-connected corporate lawyer muhammad mercy has given 525 000 pounds
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to the conservative party since 2018 here he is talking about corruption corruption is a very very heinous crime every stolen dollar robs the poor of an equal opportunity in life but league documents show mr emersy was at the center of a corruption scandal he worked as a consultant to a swedish telecoms company telia helping it to expand its business in central asia but an internal telia report describes the activities of a consultant
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referred to as mr xy who has paid more than 65 million dollars the payments included expenses for lavish corporate entertainment usually between a hundred thousand and two hundred thousand dollars a month that were not evidenced by receipts it recommended that telia's relationship with mr xy be terminated former teleor executive michaela alberg who was brought in to clean up the company told panorama that mr mercy was the consultant referred to in the report it is important that people around him
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that trust him that listen to him understand the whole context of his career and wealth he has been involved closely in one of the biggest corruption schedules that we have seen in sweden in modern times mr mercy's lawyer said it's entirely false to suggest his contract was terminated and that his fees and expenses were entirely in keeping with industry practice andy verity bbc news well let's speak now to panorama's
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richard bilton who's been looking into this richard good morning to you thank you for being with us uh live from the newsroom in london i mean the size of this investigation it's been huge isn't it yeah i mean in some ways it's it's the scale and the content that absolutely defines it so 12 million pieces of data that's an enormous amount to look through so here in the uk it's been us at panorama we started more than a year ago there's also the guardian but there are teams around the world more than 600 journalists just digging into these
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documents and trying to find stories and they do give us this sense this glimpse of the way the offshore world can be used by the wealthy to hide their wealth or hide secret deals this is actually one of i think this is my fourth or fifth leak of this nature that i've been involved in but this is just is different because there are lots more powerful people in this there are lots of names that you can get hold of so there are 35 current or past world leaders 300 senior state officials so for example there is andre babish who is the czech prime minister
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he's actually standing for re-election this week he bought two villas in the south of france he did it through an extremely complicated secretive structure which he didn't declare to the czech parliament right now he's got to explain that to the czech people it's big stories like that that leap out of the documents and in terms of the the findings i mean you've run us through in in the piece there from andy verity give us an idea of the significance of this and how far-reaching they will be they are far reaching far-reaching because they look at so many different elements of public life so today on
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panorama we'll be looking at political donations but they all there are other themes in there you know one of the themes one of the things that leaps out the documents is how the uk is kind of used by offshore to for property 95 000 properties in the documents owned by offshore companies here in the uk i'll give you one example so there's the president of azerbaijan um mr aliev he had 17 secret deals uh in the uk totaling more than 400 million pounds
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some of those are extraordinary for example is a 33 million pound office block not far from here in central london that was owned by his 11 year old son there's another deal which is sort of awkward for the crown estate which is the public body that runs the queen's properties because they bought a property that gave the alievs a profit i mean the crown of state has said to us it conducted checks required by uk law and is now looking into the matter but there are big themes in these documents which will emerge over the coming days

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