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  • Oct 05, 2021
  • Pandora papers: 'It's time to pursue lawyers and accountants who enable tax evasion', says offshore tax expert

    Many of the world's richest and most powerful people are in the spotlight once more for using secretive tax havens and corporate structures to hide wealth and avoid paying taxes.

    The Pandora papers is the third in a series of huge leaks of documents to the media following the Panama papers in 2016 and the Paradise papers in 2017 - and little seems to have changed in the interim.

    Those included so far in the new revelations include the leaders of the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Jordan and Ukraine, plus members of the ruling family in Azerbaijan and figures close to Vladimir Putin.
    In all, more than 100 billionaires are reportedly involved in the revelations, with transactions ranging from properties worth millions of pounds to slush funds and superyachts.

    We asked Professor Ronen Palan, a specialist in offshore tax havens at City, University of London, about the story so far.
    What are your initial thoughts?
    I'm afraid I'm not surprised by these papers. There's no evidence to suggest that the volume of transactions taking place through these offshore centres is declining, so the same financial structures that we heard about in the Panama and Paradise papers are still clearly being used.