(AFP) - Apple, Bono and Queen Elizabeth II are just a few of the big
names and companies revealed in the Paradise Papers leak to have shifted
money across the globe to cut tax.
spotlight on the tax affairs of the rich and powerful comes after a
trove of documents was released by the US-based International Consortium
of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), detailing secretive offshore deals
that, while not illegal, are embarrassing for those concerned.
Here, according to the papers, are some of the most well-known names caught up in the controversy:
- Politics -
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has, through the Duchy of Lancaster which
provides her income and handles her investments, placed around Â£10
million ($13 million, â¬11.3 million) of her private money in funds
held in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
funds were reinvested in an array of businesses, including
controversial rent-to-own retailer BrightHouse which has been accused of
exploiting the poor.
Her son, Prince Charles, has invested millions of pounds in offshore
funds and businesses, including a Bermuda-based sustainable forestry
company once run by a close friend.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross holds a 31 percent stake in maritime
transport company Navigator Holdings through a complex web of offshore
Holdings runs a lucrative partnership with Russian energy giant Sibur,
linked to President Vladimir Putin's inner circle. Russia is subject to
In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's top fundraiser and senior
advisor Stephen Bronfman, heir to the Seagram fortune, moved some $60
million to an offshore haven in the Cayman Islands.
Brazil's economy and agriculture ministers, Henrique Meirelles and
Blairo Maggi, are also cited in offshore companies in tax havens.
- Celebrities -
U2 frontman Bono is shown in the leak to own a stake in a Maltese
company that bought in 2007 a Lithuanian shopping mall via a Lithuanian
holding company, which may have broken tax rules by using an unlawful
Pop diva Madonna bought shares in a medical supplies firm, the New York
Times said. Radio France meanwhile said she had invested in a firm that
gained from taxes on virtually non-existent capital gains.
Britain's four-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton avoided paying
taxes on a private jet, receiving a Â£3.3 million VAT refund in 2013
after it was imported into the Isle of Man, a low-tax British Crown
Colombian singer Shakira who lives in Barcelona, was domiciled in the
Bahamas for tax reasons and transferred 31.6 million euros earned in
royalties to Malta, France's Le Monde newspaper said.
- Multinationals -
Technology giant Apple shifted much of its offshore wealth from Ireland
to the Jersey tax haven in the British Isles to adapt to the tightening
of Irish tax laws in 2015.
US sportswear giant Nike used a loophole in Dutch fiscal law to reduce,
via two companies based in the Netherlands, its tax rate in Europe to
just two percent compared to the 25 percent average for European
The taxi-hailing app Uber and the manufacturer of Botox, the Allergan
pharmaceutical laboratory, allegedly used similar methods to Nike.
The Paradise Papers also reveal that Russian companies with links to
the Kremlin invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Twitter and
Internet giants are already under fire, notably in the US Congress, for
the use of their platforms to spread Russian rumours during the 2016 US