Pandora Papers unmask UK’s tax haven
The Pandora Papers, the largest investigation in journalism history on corruption and offshores, exposed world leaders, influential businessmen, and celebrities using offshore schemes estimated at billions of dollars. The reputation of several people and countries has suffered.
The British public is urging the government to protect the country from dirty money. It has been revealed that London has become one of the largest tax havens where the world's richest and most powerful people hide their wealth. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) released the so-called “Pandora Dossier” that sparked a massive reaction in the UK. The citizens are outraged at London's role in the offshore schemes.
“These leaks show that there is one system for corrupt elites who can buy access to prime property and enjoy luxury lifestyles,” Duncan Hames, policy director at the campaign group Transparency International UK, said. According to Hames, the Conservative government has to take measures to combat tax evasion and money laundering. First of all, the government must close the loopholes that allow the companies in the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands to hold property in the UK without revealing the names of their true owners, Hames stated. The next step the government should take is to crack down on professionals that help those with illicit wealth hidden in the UK, he added.
HM Revenue and Customs initiated an inspection of the Pandora Papers. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said that the UK tax authorities would scrutinize the released materials. “It is a global problem, there’s a global dimension to it and we need other countries to cooperate with us to tackle this,” Sunak added.