Live Updates: ICIJ Release “Paradise Papers”

November 5, 2017 | 20 Comments

[Updating] The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists [ICIJ] just released reports and documents they bill the “Paradise Papers,” which they said “include nearly 7 million loan agreements, financial statements, emails, trust deeds and other paperwork over nearly 50 years from inside Appleby, a prestigious offshore law firm with offices in Bermuda and beyond.”

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The ICIJ announcement said, “The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists today releases The Paradise Papers, a global investigation that reveals the offshore activities of some of the world’s most powerful people and companies.

The ICIJ said they, and 95 media partners, explored 13.4 million files from a combination of “files of offshore law firms and the company registries in some of the world’s most secretive countries.”

“The files were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, and shared with ICIJ.

“The Paradise Papers documents include nearly 7 million loan agreements, financial statements, emails, trust deeds and other paperwork over nearly 50 years from inside Appleby, a prestigious offshore law firm with offices in Bermuda and beyond.

ICIJ added that the “documents include files from the smaller, family-owned trust company, Asiaciti, and from company registries in 19 secrecy jurisdictions.

“The Paradise Papers reveal offshore interests and activities of more than 120 politicians and world leaders, including Queen Elizabeth II…

“At least 13 allies, major donors and Cabinet members of U.S. President Donald J. Trump appear, including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s interests in a shipping company that makes millions from an energy firm whose owners include Russian President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law and a sanctioned Russian tycoon.

The ICIJ also added that the files from Appleby “include details of tax planning by nearly 100 multinational corporations, including Apple, Nike and Uber.

“ICIJ and its media partners will be publishing multiple stories in the coming days and weeks, including:

  • On Monday afternoon, stories on strategies used by multinational corporations to shift profits to low-tax jurisdictions; and a look into the world of private jets and yachts registered by wealthy owners in offshore tax havens;
  • On Tuesday afternoon, stories that look behind the huge offshore trust funds held by rich and powerful people; how prominent political donors in the U.S. make use of offshore financial structures; and reporting on tax haven shopping sprees by multinational companies in Africa and Asia that use shell companies in Mauritius;
  • And more to come on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and into the next week.
  • ICIJ will also release the structured data connected to the Paradise Papers investigation in the coming weeks on its Offshore Leaks Database.

Appleby has said they “wish to make it clear that our firm was not the subject of a leak but of an illegal computer hack.”

They also stated, “Appleby has thoroughly and vigorously investigated the allegations and we are satisfied that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing, either on the part of ourselves or our clients.

“We refute any allegations which may suggest otherwise and we would be happy to cooperate fully with any legitimate and authorised investigation of the allegations by the appropriate and relevant authorities.

“We are an offshore law firm who advises clients on legitimate and lawful ways to conduct their business.”

In tandem with this ICIJ release, which occurred at just past 2.00pm Bermuda time and includes an entire section on the ICIJ website, international media are releasing reports online as well.

The term “Paradise Papers” was trending #2 on Twitter within minutes of the release, and it is being widely reported, with the BBC running live updates, and the matter being featured on the homepages of multiple major international media.

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Comments (20)

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  1. Sheik G says:

    By your own definition illegal is what exactly?
    Interperative?

  2. John Joseph says:

    Paradise lost

    • Onion Jiuce says:

      Only lost for the super itch rich. This is the equivalent of a financial “America’s Cup”, won’t affect the Bermudian roots, we don’t need the worlds wealthiest. Will you hold back the report on this my PLP, when one is requested once the wealthy elite, pull the plug on us? BTW, what’s happening with our promised third economic pillar, good time to release those details.

      • inna says:

        Every other word doesnt have an @ in it??

        Must be a different OJ logged in today!!

      • Gustav says:

        what are you talking about ?
        the high tech hub ?
        we cant even repair our buses !!!

  3. John Joseph says:

    The BBC have Bob Richards on the main page of the news website. Do they even know that he’s no longer in government?

    • Family Man says:

      Yes but the current finance minister is AWOL.

      • Onion Jiuce says:

        Whenever matters of Financial contention arise, the Finance Minister has a history of not being found. Like him or hate him, Bob would always pop up, with answers no one wanted to hear. What will this look like for Bermuda going forward?

  4. puzzled says:

    It’s major new on MSNBC

  5. Ringmaster says:

    Let’s hope no one investigates the Government of Bermuda for confirmation that its MPs, especially Premiers, conform with stringent compliance and transparency.
    Especially matters involving unethical but not illegal behavior.
    Surely time for all MPs to undergo certification procedures including exams in the same way tradespeople are now required to do.

  6. Toodle-oo says:

    Even if the super rich are hiding their money who can blame them ?
    Why should anyone be punished for being successful ?
    All it means is that governments have more access to money that can be frittered away , wasted or stolen .

    Besides, it’s not like anyone elses taxes will suddenly go down either because the wealthy are now being burnt .
    Has anyone ever seen their taxes go down when gov’t introduces a new one on a different sector that doen’t include them ?

  7. Alvin Williams says:

    Not even a fig-leaf is going to save Bermuda and that goes for attempts of selected censorship on this revelation contain in the release of these paradise papers; for there is always an alternative to the blocking of free speech.

    • Onion Jiuce says:

      Mr Williams, are you The New Minister of Finance? We look forward to your new fig leaf initiatives, to cover our shrunken fig. In 2012, when it was self admitted by this firm, that controls weren’t as tight as they would like, who was the Government of fourteen years?

  8. Retired says:

    Time for us to revisit selling salt when IB leaves for Delaware and NYC.

  9. Commoncents says:

    One. The Bermuda Government needs to stand its ground
    Two. The BBC should note The Queen is Head of State of Bermuda and Cayman and accordingly not investing “Offshore”. So BS BBC (UK)
    Three. A watershed opportunity for Bermuda (and Cayman). The Rich will move physically, Just make them “Welcome”.
    A no Brainer.

  10. Jeff says:

    Being a tax cheat, at the expense of the tax-paying populace does not make you smart. trump, etal. It makes you a low-life criminal who needs to be exposed and indicted. IMHO

  11. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Noting that Appleby says it was hacked, the Süddeutsche Zeitung said they are “unable to verify this claim. … The newspaper declines to take part in speculation as to how the data may have been obtained.”

    As I read that, the German newspaper does not care that that data may have stolen and is printing all it can without breaching EU data protection laws.

    So much for hoping that “mainstream” press would take the moral high ground rather than give in to sensationalism.

  12. Commoncents says:

    Well done to the Premier of Bermuda on the BBC this morning

    Brilliant!

  13. Gustav says:

    here we go .
    the nasty IB will leave the island .
    the evil foreigners will leave as well .
    entire island is free of anyone who is steeling jobs from the Bermudians.
    now the grassroots can be happy and try to sell their homemade mango juice at the next corner …..

    • Coffee says:

      Gustav , the spawn of ignorance and hate .

      Who tells the Queen where to park her money ?

      Any idea Furher Gustav ?

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