:: After the Pulitzer Prize-winning Panama Papers, Frederik Obermaier and his colleague Bastian Obermayer initiated another worldwide investigation on dubious tax tricks of rich and powerful individuals and companies. Together with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and nearly 100 media outlets worldwide Obermaier investigated the socalled “Paradise Papers”, which were published on November 5, 2017.
::The Paradise Papers – a trove of 13,5 million records – revealed ties between Russia and U.S. President Donald Trump’s billionaire commerce secretary, the hidden fortune of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s chief fundraiser and the offshore dealings of the Queen of England.
:: The leaked documents showed how deeply the offshore financial system is entangled with the overlapping worlds of political players, private wealth and corporate giants, including Apple, Nike, Uber and other global companies that avoid taxes through increasingly imaginative bookkeeping maneuvers.
:: One offshore web leads to President Trump’s commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, who has a stake in a shipping company that has received several million dollar in revenue since 2014 from a Russian energy company co-owned by the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
:: The records also show that a major investor in Twitter, Facebook and a real estate venture founded by Trump’s son-in-law and White House advisor, Jared Kushner, received hidden backing from two Kremlin-owned banks that are known as vehicles for Putin’s politically sensitive dealings.
:: The leaked files also included AsiaCiti Trust, a family-run offshore specialist that is headquartered in Singapore as well as documents from 19 government business registries in some of the world’s most secretive tax havens in the Caribbean, the Pacific Ocean and Europe, such as Antigua and Barbuda, the Cook Islands and the Isle of Man. The registries represent databases from one-fifth of the world’s busiest tax havens. ©ICIJ
"The Paradise Papers make clear that we need, in the United States and throughout the world, a tax system which is fair, progressive and transparent." (Bernie Sanders)
"Thanks to those disclosures, people's anger served as fuel to accelerate decision-making at the European Council." (Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for competition)
"A political earthquake has to happen after the Paradise Papers." (Rudolf Elmer, Julius-Bär-whistleblower)
"These leaks indicate that our earth has bifurcated into two separate and unequal worlds: one inhabitated by 200 000 ultra high-net-worth individuals and the other by the 7 billion left behind." (Micah M. White, #OccupyWallStreet)
"These journalists should be in prison." (Anthony Travers, stock-exchange-chairman of the tax-haven Cayman Islands)
"Absolutely breathtaking and so important." (Joseph Stiglitz, former Worldbank-chief-economist and recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences)
"The Paradise Papers reveal that to challenge corporate power, it will be critical to overcome the silos in which we all work. There is a need to link human rights, social development, political science and macro economy." (Magdalena Sepúlveda, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights)
"What the Paradise Papers show is how dishonesty is being promoted on a mass scale and how corruption is being institutionalized." (David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer prize-winning Trump-biographer)
"What's scandalous isn't what's illegal: it's what's been made legal" (Gleen Greenwald)