Leaders of several countries, including Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, Azerbaijani President and King of Jordan, have tried to hide their wealth or business, leaked documents show offshore companies, dubbed “Pandora Papers”.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) announced tonight the findings of an investigation involving about 600 journalists who found the names of about 35 current and former leaders, as well as hundreds of officials, such as judges, ministers and mayors.

Journalists studied about 11.9 million documents from 14 financial services companies, which include the names of more than 100 billionaires, as well as celebrities.

The leaked documents show that the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš invested 22 million dollars in the companies he used to buy two villas in the south of France.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is linked to documents related to secret property in Monaco, according to the BBC.

Documents also show that the ruling Azerbaijani Aliyev family has been trading in real estate in Great Britain, worth about 540 million dollars, through offshore companies in recent years. One of those properties was sold to the British royal family for about 90 million dollars.

Among other things, the documents reveal that King Abdullah II of Jordan created at least 30 offshore companies, in so.called tax havens, through which he bought 14 luxury properties in the United States and Great Britain, for more than 106 million dollars.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and six members of his family secretly owned a network of offshore companies, associated with 11 companies. The property of one of them is estimated at 30 million dollars.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky transferred funds to a secret offshore company just before he won the presidential elections in 2019, documents show.

The documents also show how former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife saved 312,000 pounds from the tax on the transfer of absolute rights when they bought space for an office in London. They then bought the offshore company that owned the building, according to the BBC.

The documents also mention the name of the former director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss.Kahn, according to AFP.

ICIJ has brought 336 officials or politicians into contact with offshore companies, who have created almost 1,000 such companies, of which more than two thirds are in the Virgin Islands.

Among the public figures in the documents are Colombian singer Shakira and German model Claudia Schiffer.

“Pandora papers” are the latest in a series of big data leaks that reveal the secret actions of celebrities, after “Panama papers” from 2016 and “Paradise papers” from 2017.

Compared to previously discovered documents, “Pandora papers” are the most extensive, and journalists have been working on that project for 18 months.

By Editor

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