The release of the Paradise Papers, a collection of 13.4 million documents, has revealed tax affairs of the ultra-wealthy, reports the BBC. Most of the papers came from offshore legal firm Appleby, which says the leak came from a hack on its network and no insiders were involved.
Similar to last year's Panama Papers leak, the documents were first procured by German publication Süddeutsche Zeitung, which worked with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
Leaked financial documents surfaced information on how rich and famous people channel funds through offshore tax havens to protect their cash from tax officials. For example, papers indicate about $13M (USD) of the Queen's private funds were invested offshore. While not illegal, this might prompt questions about the Queen's finances.
It also came to light that Russia funded Facebook and Twitter investments through a business associate of Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior White House advisor. Papers indicate Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had a stake in a company which transports oil and gas for a Russian energy firm, whose shareholders include Vladimir Putin's son-in-law and two men sanctioned by the US.
While Appleby says it did not do anything wrong, the disclosure of such sensitive data could have tremendous repercussions for individuals affected.
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