Pandora Papers: The trillion-dollar offshore shadow economy exposed (E1058)
On this episode of Going Underground, we first speak to Fergus Shiel of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on the release of the Pandora Papers, which implicate 366 high-level public officials and politicians and over 1,000 companies in major tax evasion and the hiding of wealth. He discusses what the super-rich and these politicians have done to the living standards of ordinary people globally, what the papers reveal about the level of financial corruption in Lebanon as 80% of the population struggle in poverty, the massive amount of Russian money ending up in London and the revelations that many in Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party have taken donations from Russian oligarchs, the revelations on Tony & Cherie Blair’s tax avoidance, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s offshore dealings and much more!
Finally, we speak to Gonzalo Boye, the lawyer of the former Catalonian President Carles Puigdemont. He discusses the recent arrest and release of Puigdemont in Sardinia after the triggering of an arrest warrant, Spain’s alleged misleading of the European Court of Justice on the Puigdemont case, why Spain is not acting as a democratic state and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’ changing stances on the Catalonia issue, his accusation that Spain is acting like an un-democratic state toward its minorities, smear campaigns against himself, Puigdemont and other Catalonian figures and much more!
Statement from Cherie Blair:
“The Blairs should not have been dragged into a story about ‘hidden’ secrets of Prime Ministers etc. The Blairs bought the premises mentioned for the legal business and Foundation of Cherie Blair in a normal way through reputable estate agents. The transactions are all registered publicly. The vendor was an offshore company. The Blairs had nothing whatever to do with the original company nor those behind it. The vendor sold the company not the property – again a decision the Blairs had nothing to with. Since the purchase was of a BVI company there was no UK stamp duty payable on that transaction. However, because the Blairs then repatriated the company and brought it onshore, they are liable for capital gains and other taxes on the resale of the property which will significantly exceed any stamp duty.
“For the record, the Blairs pay full tax on all their earnings. And have never used offshore schemes either to hide transactions or avoid tax.”