by Graham Pierrepoint
Anyone who remembers the Panama Papers leak of 2015 will know that the release of sensitive details with regard to tax havens had a huge effect not only on those undertaking such schemes, but also to those well outside of the picture – and the colossal document dump proved to be one of the biggest hacks of all time, bringing many famous and important faces under the spotlight under money-storing schemes that may or may not have been regarded as semi-legal. Over two years on, the Panama Papers has a sequel – and more big names are yet again implicated.
The Paradise Papers are thought to contain over 13 million documents ▶ believed to have been sourced from an offshore finance specialist – and this time around, even royalty are implicated. It’s emerged that around $13 million of Queen Elizabeth’s private estate has been invested in an off-shore staking ▶ – along with data relating to Wilbur Ross, Donald Trump’s commerce secretary – as data suggests he is profiting from a Russian-run firm operated by those sanctioned by the US ▶. It is a huge data spill that could well set the tone for the week’s news to come.
It’s thought that German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, responsible for receiving details on the Panama hack, are once again confirmed to be in receipt of the huge number of documents seemingly leaked. It’s thought that many high profile celebrities and powerful people are implicated in the details that are being leaked – and that news relating to Ross and the Queen are just the tip of the iceberg.
While the Queen’s investments are not illegal, there will likely be concerns over why and whether or not she should have had such money invested off-shore. There are many other stories emerging, too, relating to an assistant of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and, of course, how deep the rabbit hole goes with regard to the matter of Wilbur Ross. Ross was responsible for helping Trump to avoid bankruptcy and has therefore been closely linked to the President in his White House staff – and it will remain to be seen what will come of such news.
The leak is thought to have emerged from a company based in Bermuda – and while sources have not been named, the emergence of such data is thought to be in the public interest. What else will emerge as a result of the leak? Be prepared for a dramatic week ahead!