Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 or Email ALL news to:newsvino@outlook.com; ads call 1-284-440-6666

A year after the Panama Papers leak comes the Paradise Papers!

- How do these leaks affect the Virgin Islands Offshore Financial Sector?
Appleby BVI: The Paradise Papers are leaks of a trove of 13.4 million files taken mostly from the offshore law firm, Appleby. Photo: VINO
The estate of Queen Elizabeth II (left) is also involved in offshore banking, according to the 'Paradise Papers'. Leader of Britain's main Opposition Labour Party Jeremy B. Corbyn (right) also criticised tax avoidance, promising that if his party wins the next election it would clamp down on tax havens and end loopholes. Photo: Internet Source
The estate of Queen Elizabeth II (left) is also involved in offshore banking, according to the 'Paradise Papers'. Leader of Britain's main Opposition Labour Party Jeremy B. Corbyn (right) also criticised tax avoidance, promising that if his party wins the next election it would clamp down on tax havens and end loopholes. Photo: Internet Source
Queen Noor Al-Hussein of Jordan (left) and Uganda Foreign Minister Sam K. Kutesa (right) were also discovered to have active interests in offshore banking. Photo: Internet Source
Queen Noor Al-Hussein of Jordan (left) and Uganda Foreign Minister Sam K. Kutesa (right) were also discovered to have active interests in offshore banking. Photo: Internet Source
Former Permanent Secretary with the Government of the Virgin Islands, Julian Willock has again come out in defence of the Virgin Islands financial services sector, following the release of the Paradise Papers. Photo: VINO/File
Former Permanent Secretary with the Government of the Virgin Islands, Julian Willock has again come out in defence of the Virgin Islands financial services sector, following the release of the Paradise Papers. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Little more than a year after the 'Panama Papers' leak sent ripples in the offshore financial sector and placed the Virgin Islands industry under renewed scrutiny, now comes the 'Paradise Papers.'
More leaks in over a year are shedding light on who is investing huge amounts of money in the offshore sector which some labeled as "tax havens."

The Paradise Papers are leaks of a trove of 13.4 million files taken mostly from the offshore law firm, Appleby.

The files were leaked to Suddeutsche Zeitung, the same German newspaper that took hold of the Panama Papers in April, 2016.

What was discovered in the Paradise Papers?

Scores of international journalist including those from Virgin Islands News Online, watchdog organisations and governments are going through the leak documents.

Thus far the information revealed that some big names are involved - among them 120 politicians.

United States President Donald J. Trump's (R) Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross has been named in the Paradise Papers.

Mr Ross has a stake in a shipping firm that receives millions of dollars a year in revenue from a company whose key owners include Russian President Vladimir V. Putin's son-in-law and a Russian tycoon sanctioned by the US Treasury Department as a member of Putin's inner circle according to the leaked information.

Stephen Bronfman, Canadian Prime Minister Justin P. J. Trudeau's friend, chief political fundraiser and adviser, is reported to have used offshore structures to avoid tax at home. The disclosures are likely to generate political heat for the Canadian Prime Minister, who swept to power in October 2015 partly on his promise to tackle economic inequality and take on tax avoidance," reported Britain's Guardian newspaper, which was among the media organisations that received the leak papers.

Even the British Queen is caught up

The Duchy of Lancaster, the private estate of the UK's monarch, is also allegedly involved. The estate of Queen Elizabeth II invested millions of dollars in medical and consumer loan companies, the files show.

While the estate's finance officer said in a statement that the "Duchy was aware" the fund was run offshore, the International Consortium of International Journalist (ICIJ) said that it has "never disclosed details of its investments."

There is no suggestion the queen's estate acted illegally. With the Virgin Islands (VI) colonial status Queen Elizabeth is the sovereign of the VI and is represented by an unelected governor.

Leader of Britain's main Opposition Labour Party Jeremy B. Corbyn also criticised tax avoidance, promising that if his party wins the next election it would clamp down on tax havens and end loopholes.

Who else was unearthed in the leak?

Queen Noor Al-Hussein of Jordan; Uganda Foreign Minister Sam K. Kutesa; Brazil Foreign Minister Henrique C. Meirelles and Yuri B. Milner, a Russian billionaire investor with large stakes in Facebook and Twitter are also named.

The Indian Express reported a few weeks ago that the leak "reveals trails of India's corporates."

In fact India ranks 19th in terms of the number of names. In all, there are 714 Indians in the tally," said the newspaper, which received details of the leak.

Critics & defenders Willock vs Suillivan

There's a new global industry that caters to money that moves around the world," Drew Sullivan, a journalist with ICIJ, told Al Jazeera. "This money moves through tax havens and it's moved to evade taxes to hide assets, to steal money. "It's used by organised crime; it's used by large businesses," Suillivan said. 

However, Julian Willock, a former Permanent Secretary with the Government of the Virgin Islands, a British Overseas Territory and one of the major players in the offshore financial sector, told the US National Public Radio earlier this year "while, in most cases, putting your money offshore and outside of your country's financial regulations is legal, the VI remains proud of its well regulated offshore sector and laws that demonstrates transparency and international standards."

Willock said "it's very, very difficult to use the VI structures for any illegal activity or to break laws for we set the standards on due diligence agreed to by the international community, best practices on regulations and taking action when a company does not comply with our laws."
 
Following the Panama Papers Mr. Willock was at the forefront in defending the British Overseas Territory of the VI's legitimate sector.
 
The Businessman Mr Willock said, it has already been established that the VI is "not a tax haven" and they know that but many in the international media "deliberately still use that misleading label to describe what we do here as we play an important role in facilitating capital flows around the world."

16 Responses to “A year after the Panama Papers leak comes the Paradise Papers!”

  • Incorrect (20/11/2017, 10:01) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    IT IS NOT A LEAK. IT IS A HACK.
  • YAWN (20/11/2017, 10:08) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    More nonsense! If you read these articles they clearly state that NOTHING being done is illegal.
  • overseas (20/11/2017, 10:08) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    if we loose the financial sector in a time like this then we doom
    • Sort of... (20/11/2017, 19:07) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
      Sort of true...it appears that is the plan. Makes we wonder how "natural" these natural disasters are!
  • HAHA (20/11/2017, 10:44) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
    it’s a dirty biz, and money-for-nothing to the BVI. don't argue legality. think about what happens when other countries tighten their own laws and make it illegal for their citizens to use offshore accounts, which is what IS happening. the BVI has put all its eggs in one basket, and will soon have that basket taken away.
    • lmao (20/11/2017, 13:11) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
      BVI does not facilitate offshore accounts, we incorporate legal entities for use globally. These same entities open their accounts with the SAME JURISDICTIONS that you speak about. Let that sink in for a bit! The BVI is NOT a banking jurisdiction so not sure what accounts youre talking about. Learn about the industry and stop parroting BS. The BVI vehicles facilitate transactional and wealth management business and provides advantages for these same onshore jurisdictions that call us down. 30 years strong and much more to go!
  • next (20/11/2017, 10:46) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Royals have shares in Bomba Shack next
  • ann (20/11/2017, 12:39) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    this is just a way to try and kill our financial services sector with all these leaks. BVI you got work to do
  • Giging (20/11/2017, 14:28) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The financial services industry is behind the times and needs to adapt and move on if it is going to survive. The concept of jobs in the professional services industry has long gone. Gig working and Upworking is now commonplace. Successful companies no longer want the hassle of having full time employees or the associated expense. Wake up BVI get lean get mean and catch up with the field!
  • my 3 cents (20/11/2017, 15:12) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Since when jw became an expert boss stay in your lane we giving you the ministry of communications not finance!
    • youths for willock (20/11/2017, 21:11) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
      when we elected Mr. Willock we will decide where he goes even if it's the Minister of Finance, so go smoke that
  • suspicious (20/11/2017, 19:30) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    This new discovery is definitely suspicious. Is it that someone wanted to get rich fast and shared the data? Perhaps there are undercover spies in the industry (thanks for whoever forsakes the locals and issue permits to so-called professionals, without placing time limitations or attaching conditions, or running deep background checks, but that's anOTHer story) who cares nothing about breaching data protection policies set within an organisation. Or does it go way deeper than that. All these so called natural disasters. I always found it suspicious that the ship was at the port for quite some time before the floods started. Then hurricanes followed. Should it really be blamed on 'global warming'? If it is not so suspicious and is a mere hack, I would suggest that the organisations 'build a wall' and up their cyber protection systems to initiate attacks and infect with viruses any system that tries to breach its protective barriers. This is war. I guess if the BVI had oil, it would be facing a different type of war! By the way, if anything is illegal, it is the actions being taken by the outsider community and media to steal and reproduce confidential data. They should be found and the law should deal with them accordingly. If the laws and policies need to be amended again to deal with this crime properly, then do it now. Make an example of these people who are borderline (if not already) cray cray. Talk about obsessive compulsive behavior.. Smh
  • HMMMMM....... (21/11/2017, 10:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    These individuals that take pleaseure in hacking people files will meet their end. The ignorant labour party UK minister refuse to acknowledge our industry. What in the dark must come to light....
  • fish (22/11/2017, 06:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Bvi keep moving forward the big powers just jealous of your success


Create a comment


Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.

Weather


Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.