Sachin Tendulkar, Shakira among many exposed for hiding wealth in ‘Pandora Papers’

Pandora Papers’ revealed the names of over 35 current former and current national leaders and 330 politicians and public figures in over 91 countries, including six politicians from India, involved in offshore dealings and tax evasion.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), in association with 150 media outlets from around 117 countries including ‘The Indian Express’ in India, has revealed in its investigative report named ‘Pandora Papers’ the names of over 35 current former and current national leaders and 330 politicians and public figures in over 91 countries, including six politicians from India, involved in offshore dealings and tax evasion.

The secret documents leaked to the ICIJ spanning over 11.9 million confidential files amounts to an estimated 3 terabytes of data, which were analysed to identify 956 companies in offshore ports tied to 336 high-level politicians, public officials and celebrities.

Among those identified as involved in offshore dealings, tax evasion and concealing assets from law enforcement agencies include the Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, pop star Shakira, supermodel Claudia Schiffer, and an Italian mobster known as Lell the Fat one. Politicians such as Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta were also named in the ‘Pandora Files.’

“Mr Tendulkar’s attorney said the cricket player’s investment is legitimate and has been declared to tax authorities. Ms Shakira’s attorney said the singer declared her companies, which the attorney said do not provide tax advantages. Ms Schiffer’s representatives said the supermodel correctly pays her taxes in the U.K., where she lives,” the report notes.

The files also reveal the offshore financial activities of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “unofficial minister of propaganda”, associates of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, and over 130 billionaires from Russia, the U.S., Turkey and other nations.

“ICIJ’s latest investigation, the Pandora Papers, brings renewed attention to the use of offshore companies by Pakistani political players. This time, the offshore holdings of people close to (Imran) Khan are being disclosed, including his Finance Minister and a top financial backer,” the findings declare.

Calling out the failure of Governments in curbing the illegal financial dealings of the rich, The ICIJ stated that “The findings by ICIJ and its media partners spotlight how deeply secretive finance has infiltrated global politics – and offer insights into why governments and global organisations have made little headway in ending offshore financial abuses.”

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