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Global research reveals the financial secrets of the rich

Called a global press investigation pandora leaves Published this Sunday reveals how the world’s opaque system of tax havens is being used by gangsters, politicians, businessmen, entertainment and sports personalities, authoritarian regimes and, in the case of 14 countries, their leaders, to hide their fortunes and move your money away from the public eye and the authorities.

In Latin America, the main findings point to three current presidents or their families — Sebastian Pinera of Chile, Ecuadorean Guillermo Laso and Dominican Luis Abenader — and 11 former presidents who used companies in tax havens to do business behind the inspectors’ back. In their countries, as reported by the Spanish newspaper El País, one of the participants in the research.

Sebastian Pinera, President of Chile

In the case of Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, in December 2010 his family sold a mining venture to a friend whose operation was detailed in two minutes, one signed in Chile for $14 million and the other in the British Virgin Islands for $138 million. millions of dollars.

This contract created a payment in three installments. The final installment relied on Chile not changing its environmental regulations that impeded the installation of the mine and port. But these changes depended on decisions by the government of Pinera, which presided over Chile for the first time between 2010 and 2014, according to Chilean media CIPER.

Guillermo Laso, President of Ecuador

In the case of the President of Ecuador, Guillermo Laso, the investigation showed that he has as many as 14 companies Navy It closed them after Ecuador banned candidates from being beneficiaries of corporations in tax havens.

Luis Abenader, President of the Dominican Republic

As for Abenader, journalists found that he had two companies in Panama that he registered before he took office.

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Abinader was registered as a beneficiary in 2018, years after entering into a law requiring companies to disclose the identity of their owners.

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, former President of Peru

Another name that appears in the files analyzed is Pedro Pablo Kuczynski Godard, who was president of Peru between 2016 and 2018.

Peruvian media Confuca, one of the allies in the project, revealed it Kuczynski acquired a company in the British Virgin Islands in 2004 that she uses as a homeowner in Peru.

And although he announced before the Congress of the Republic that the company would own the real estate, the company’s documents reveal that the company was also intended to provide financial advisory services.

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According to El País newspaper, at least 92 politicians or senior officials in Latin America have set up opaque companies that appear in the documents analyzed. They include the former president of Paraguay, Horacio Cartes, and former Colombian presidents Andres Pastrana and Cesar Gaviria.

Also appear the names of Mexican politicians Julio Scherer Ibarra and Jorge Arganis Díaz Leal, The current Secretary of Communications and Transport in the Lopez Obrador Administration.

also show Maria Asuncion Aramburozapala and Germain Larria, two of the richest businessmen in Mexico.

In Costa Rica, the Latin American Center for Journalistic Investigation (CLIP) revealed that Dos Pinos, one of the largest cooperatives in the country, Company registered Navy In Panama that has been kept secret until nowAt the same time he was facing an investigation by his country’s criminal and tax authorities for using other companies in tax havens to pay top executives, a case in which he ended up paying fines of nearly $1.5 million.

Opaque financial movements around the world

Research by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and its partners reveals opaque financial transactions around the world. For example, journalists from Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) proved that Siniša Mali, the former mayor of Belgrade, Serbia, Secretly bought 24 apartments on the Black Sea coast in Bulgaria.

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In 2015, when the first rumors about the purchase appeared, Mali claimed that she only owned one apartment and hid that she actually owns 23 other properties in the same complex.

In Spain, El País newspaper publishes that Corina Larsen, a German woman who had an affair with honorary King Juan Carlos I, plotted in 2007 if she died, Managers of the then monarch’s trust will provide one-third of the income of the Saudi Hispanic Investment Fund, which is an adventure in which more than a dozen Spanish companies have participated to invest in infrastructure and communications projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The fund was sponsored by Juan Carlos I and Larsen, but failed mainly due to a lack of interest and investment from the Saudis.

The Spanish newspaper also found that singer Julio Iglesias has a network of at least 20 companies set up in the British Virgin Islands tax haven. Other Spanish names associated with companies in tax havens are singer Miguel Bosé and Football coach Pep Guardiola, who had an undisclosed checking account In Andorra until 2012. That year, the money was organized in Spain, taking advantage of a tax amnesty approved by the Mariano Rajoy government.

In the United Kingdom, journalists have found new details of foreign donors who have funded millions of dollars for the Conservative Party of current Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The investigation also affects the United States. The Washington Post announced that this week it will publish stories about how countries like South Dakota and Nevada have also adopted laws favoring clandestine financial operations. And they became almost tax havens on American soil.

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More than 600 reporters from 117 countries participated in the global investigative journalism, led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The first stories were released simultaneously this Sunday shortly after noon (Eastern time) and more reports are expected this week.

Among what was revealed by the Bandura papers were details of foreign donations to the campaign of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) and the sale of a mining project by the family of Chilean President Sebastian Pinera (right). Pictured, both leaders during a meeting in London, on September 21, 2021.Frank Augustin/AFP

The comprehensive investigation, called the Pandora Papers, was made possible by the 11.9 million leaks of documents that were leaked from 14 law firms or agencies operating in tax havens and ended up in the hands of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

For a year, the organization and allied reporters sifted through financial files to reveal the fortunes hidden in tax havens around the world.

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Among the files obtained by ICIJ were 6.4 million documents such as legal contracts, corporate sheets and trusts, as well as 1.2 million emails and nearly three million photographs, including copies of passports and charts showing the structure of companies and trusts.

Prior to the Bandura Papers, similar projects were carried out by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and allied reporters, which sparked financial scandals in different countries.

Perhaps the most famous of them so far is the Panama Papers, an investigation published in 2016 that revealed to the world how Some of the richest people on the planet have used a network of opaque tax havens, corporations, and bank accounts to hide their wealth.. Politicians, businessmen, leaders, and members of organized crime have used the services of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca to move their money.

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