The Queen has been implicated in the latest data leak of financial documents being dubbed the “Paradise Papers”.
The leak shows how the powerful and ultra-wealthy secretly invest vast amounts of cash in offshore tax havens, and were revealed as part of a 100-strong media investigation which has been exposed today.
According to the BBC the Paradise Papers show that about £10m ($13m) of the Queen’s private money was invested offshore.
It was put into funds in British Overseas Territories the Cayman Islands and Bermuda by the Duchy of Lancaster, which provides the Queen with an income and handles investments for her £500m private estate.
The Duchy said it was not involved in decisions made by funds and there is no suggestion the Queen had any knowledge of the specific investments made on her behalf.
Elsewhere there are embarrassing leaks for Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau, with a key aide linked to offshore schemes that may have cost the nation millions of dollars in taxes.
Donald Trump’s commerce secretary is also shown to have a stake in a firm dealing with Russians sanctioned by the US.
– Wilbur Ross funded Trump to stave off his bankruptcy and was rewarded with the position of Commerce Secretary. The leaks link him to Russian interests with which – via Cayman Islands accounts – he shares a shipping company which earns millions of dollars a year transporting oil and gas for a Russian energy firm whose shareholders include Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law and two men subject to US sanctions. Wilbur Ross is accused of misleading the US public by not revealing these compromising interests.
The leaks centre around the activities of offshore solicitors Appleby and implicates one of the Conservative Party’s biggest donors Lord Ashcroft, who sheltered his wealth offshore while a Tory peer.
Billionaire Robert Mercer who bankrolled the Trump and Leave.EU Brexit campaign is also revealed to be an Appleby client.
Anti-poverty crusader, U2’s Bono is also names enthuse leaks.
Today’s revelations are expected to form only a small part of a week of disclosures that will expose the tax and financial affairs of some of the hundreds of people and companies named in the data, some with strong UK connections.