pandora leavesCDA leader Wopke Hoekstra has invested for years in a letterbox company in the British Virgin Islands. He did so shortly before becoming finance minister and took a stand against tax havens. Hoekstra confirms the daily newspaper coverage devotion Based on new disclosures in the so-called Pandora Papers. “I should have looked at it more deeply.”
Hoekstra’s participation is evident from his research devotionAnd Financial Times The Investico search platform. They had access to Pandora’s Papers, about 12 million leaked documents from tax havens.
Documents show that Hoekstra invested in an ecotourism company owned by an old acquaintance that offers safaris in Africa. Hoekstra wrote on Twitter that it was about €26,500. “This investment has never been for the sake of profit for me. No dividend has ever been paid.
private investment club
Until October 2017, the outgoing CDA leader and finance minister was part of a private investment club that still uses this Caribbean tax haven to invest in a safari company in East Africa. The closed club also included Supervisory Board Chairman Tom De Swan of state bank ABN Amro, who was appointed to the bank by Hoekstra in the summer of 2018.
The British Virgin Islands is one of the largest tax havens in the world. Leaked documents show the state has been helping cover up corruption and fraud since 2013.
Hoekstra bought his shares in the Virgin Islands in 2009 and sold them a week before he became finance minister in October 2017. From that moment on, it was his job as minister to deal with abuses through tax havens.
Hoekstra wrote on Twitter that he donated profits of around €4,800 to a good cause: scientific research into cancer. “I did not realize 12 years ago where the company was,” the minister said. “Of course I should have looked into that more then.”
vs devotion Hoekstra reports that he has always reported his interest in letterbox to the tax authorities. But he did not do so in the Senate, where he was a Christian Democrat senator between 2011 and 2017. Hoekstra was then a member of a committee that contributed ideas on the international fight against tax evasion.
The head of the Community Development Authority also stated that he was not obligated to disclose his shares, and that he always complied with the required procedures.
under the rock
Various parties in the House of Representatives are not satisfied with the explanation. PvdA and GroenLinks want a quick discussion with Hoekstra. GroenLinks party leader Jesse Claver wrote on twtter: “It is very disturbing news that our finance minister’s name appears in these leaked documents about mailbox companies.” “The bottom stone must come.”
The Pandora Papers, one of the biggest financial document leaks ever, reveals the hidden wealth and secret dealings of world leaders, politicians and billionaires. About 35 current and former world leaders, including Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin and King Abdullah of Jordan, are on file.
For example, the Pandora Papers, named after the famous fund full of surprises, reveal that King Abdullah of Jordan has secretly amassed British and American properties worth more than 81 million euros, mainly in real estate. They also explain how former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife saved more than 364,000 euros when they bought an office worth 7.53 million euros through an offshore company.
The leak also links Russian President Vladimir Putin to secret assets in Monaco. It also appears that Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, who faces elections later this week, owns an offshore investment firm that has bought two villas in southern France for 14 million euros.
Many of the transactions in the leaked documents do not involve legal violations. But the documents reveal the owners of the 95,000 offshore companies behind those transactions. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his family are an example of this. The investigation revealed that the Aliyevs and their closest associates were secretly involved in real estate transactions in the United Kingdom worth more than 467 million euros.
Other information was disclosed in the Bandura papers regarding Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, including ministers, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The latter appears to have transferred his interest to a secret offshore company prior to his victory in the 2019 elections.
The biggest leak of financial documents ever
The Pandora Papers fit into a series of leaks that have been published over the past seven years, following the FinCen Files, Paradise Papers, Panama Papers, and LuxLeaks. The files were investigated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), and more than 650 investigative journalists participated in it.
Several international media, including the BBC and Washington Post, have had access to 12 million documents from 14 financial services companies in the British Virgin Islands, Panama, Belize, Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Switzerland and others.
The files were investigated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), and more than 650 investigative journalists participated in it. “There has never been anything of this magnitude,” said Fergus Schell of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. BBC. “It really shows what offshore companies can do to help people hide untrustworthy money or avoid taxes.”
“They use those offshore accounts, those offshore trusts, to buy hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate in other countries and to enrich their families at the expense of their own citizens,” Schell added.
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