Sun. Dec 4th, 2022

The Big Picture: Real estate in some of the world’s most coveted neighborhoods is owned by anonymous companies registered in notoriously secretive jurisdictions, like the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

Behind many of these offshore firms are political elites — including heads of state — who are often trying to avoid taxes or, in some cases, launder money. Learn more about why this project matters. 

FAQ: What is a corporate service provider? Who’s in the data? What can we do to reform the offshore system? Find answers to your burning questions here.

PANDORA PAPERS FROM OCCRP:

Dictator’s Family in London: Family and close associates of Azerbaijan’s president — including his teenage children — secretly purchased $700 million worth of London real estate. Read more.

Czech PM in France: Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš set up a British Virgin Islands company in 2009 that secretly loaned €15 million to other shell companies he owned in the U.S. and Monaco. The money was eventually used to buy luxury French real estate. Read More.

Zelensky’s Offshore Network: Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, who won Ukraine’s presidency on an anti-corruption platform, was co-owner of an offshore network. Even now, his family appears to still be able to profit from one of the companies. Read More.

Russian Money in Croatia: The family of a wealthy Croatian tycoon with ties to Vladimir Putin secretly took over a real estate developer. The family then funnelled suspicious funds from a Russian pipeline company to this real estate firm, using an opaque trust. Read More.

Kazakh Oligarchs and a ‘Tokal’: Two oligarchs are linked to $30 million worth of transfers to the alleged unofficial third wife (or tokal) of Kazakhstan’s former president, who remains arguably the most powerful man in the country. Read More.

Serbian PEP’s Properties: When our Serbian colleagues reported that Siniša Mali, then the mayor of Belgrade, had bought 24 properties on Bulgaria’s coast, he denied the allegations and offered a challenge: “If you determine I’m the owner of these apartments, they’re all yours…” Well, the Pandora Papers prove he is the properties’ owner, without a shadow of a doubt. We’re still waiting for the keys. Read More.

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