The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) registered in United States, managed to expose through information leaks, the secrets of 130,000 people like politicians, artists and rich people, and 120,000 offshore companies of over 170 countries, including Romania.
The research, probably being the largest ever cross-border journalistic collaboration, was made by a number of 86 journalists from 46 countries from ICIJ, part of Center for Public Integrity in Washington.
The report by ICIJ and its partner networks around the world is the first from a series of reports to be submitted by 15 April, other information following to be made public during the year, as the investigation progresses.
“This investigation rises the curtains above the offshore system and offers a transparent image of the tax havens and people and companies that benefit from them”, declared Gerard Ryle, director of ICIJ. The files identify the persons behind the trusts and private companies registered in the British Virgin Islands, Cook Islands, Singapore and other tax heavens.
Among these people are doctors and dentists in the U.S., Greek middle class, corporate executives from Russia, Eastern Europe and billionaires in Indonesia, Wall Street speculators, international arms dealers and their families and associates of dictators.
The documents present facts and data namely transfers of money and connections between companies and individuals, and shows the expansion worldwide of the offshore financial secrets that allowed the rich people with good connections to elude the tax authorities, fueling corruption in the developed and poor countries.
During the research were interviewed hundreds of experts, government officials, lawyers, clients offshore and other sources around the world. Among those mentioned in the report are the wife of Russian Deputy PM Igor Suvalov and two directors of Gazprom. Which according to the documents, they have interests in companies from British Virgin Islands. All three refused to comment.
Another important name in the U.S. is James R. Mellon, whose family founded the companies known as Gulf Oil and Mellon Bank. He used four companies in the British Virgin Islands and Liechtenstein for trading financial instruments and the transfer of tens of millions of dollars from the offshore accounts from his possession.
Many of the world’s largest banks, including UBS, Deutsche Bank and Clariden have worked aggressively to provide business customers hidden companies in the British Virgin Islands and other tax heavens.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is an international network of reporters who collaborate on investigative articles. The organization was founded in 1997 by the Center for Public Integrity in the United States to focus on issues that are beyond the national borders. With 160 members in over 60 countries, ICIJ focuses on cross-border crime, corruption and power.
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