PRINCE CHARLES

Another British Royal Found With Offshore Connections

Prince Charles’ private estate held an undisclosed interest in an offshore company that could have benefited from his campaigning for changes to climate change rules.

Prince Charles’ private estate held an undisclosed interest in an offshore company that could have benefited from his campaigning for changes to climate change rules, according to reporting by ICIJ’s British media partners in the latest round of Paradise Papers revelations.

The BBC and the Guardian reported on Tuesday that the prince’s estate, the Duchy of Cornwall, “secretly bought shares worth $113,500 in a Bermuda company,” Sustainable Forestry Management, that was directed by a friend of the prince.

The duchy told ICIJ’s media partners that the prince had no direct involvement in its investments, and a spokesman for the prince said his campaigning on climate change had nothing to do with his estate’s stake in the offshore company.

Days earlier, the prince’s mother, Queen Elizabeth II’s private estate was also named in Paradise Papers reporting as an investor in a Cayman Islands fund whose assets included a rent-to-own retailer accused of charging high interest rates.

The Paradise Papers revelations have prompted growing outrage in the U.K. as activists and politicians alike call for investigations and increased transparency in Britain’s financial system.

A spokesperson for the U.K. Prime Minister, Theresa May, said that the tax office had “asked to see the leaked Paradise Papers.”

In an interview, British opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said those putting money offshore to avoid tax should apologize.

In other British news, the former deputy chairman of the Conservative party, Lord Ashcroft, avoided what he called a BBC “ambush” and took refuge in a toilet to avoid questions about payments from a trust in Bermuda, according to media reports.

U2 singer, Bono, said he was “distressed” to learn that a company in which he invests and which owns a shopping center in Lithuanian is being probed by tax authorities.

“I welcome this reporting,” Bono said. “It shouldn’t take leaks to understand what’s going on where.”

“I’ve been assured by those running the company that it is fully tax-compliant, but if that is not the case, I want to know as much as the tax office does,” Bono said.

Several tax havens whose offshore industries spotlighted by the leak came to their defense – and that of others.

The Cayman Islands said it is “not a tax haven” and that it “will not tolerate unfair attacks against our Queen, Elizabeth II, who maintains normal and legal investments in Cayman, a British Overseas Territory.”

Bermuda’s premier promised to defend the island’s reputation and said it was not a place to “hide money.”

Contributors

SANCTIONS

How Russia’s ‘richest’ lawmaker used his partner’s secret companies to own two yachts and a Seychelles villa

Jun 06, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow
RUSSIA ARCHIVE

List of oligarchs and Russian elites featured in ICIJ investigations

Mar 20, 2022
Photo of a torn Russian flag
FINANCIAL SECRECY

ICIJ announces the Russia Archive, an inside look at the hidden wealth of oligarchs and elites close to Putin

Mar 08, 2022
FINANCIAL SECRECY

How a network of enablers have helped Russia’s oligarchs hide their wealth abroad

Mar 02, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow
RUSSIA

As the West takes aim with Russian sanctions, here’s what we know about oligarchs’ secret finances

Feb 17, 2022
IMPACT

136 countries agree to global minimum tax for corporations in ‘historic’ OECD deal

Oct 08, 2021
ICIJ is dedicated to ensuring all reports we publish are accurate. If you believe you have found an inaccuracy let us know.