Massive 'Pandora Papers' probe finds leaders, ex-leaders hiding trillion in US, worldwide

Compiling so-called "Pandora Papers" report involved 600 journalists from 150 media outlets in 117 countries

Updated: October 4, 2021 - 10:17am

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Hundreds of world leaders and powerful politicians – including Jordan's King Abdullah II and former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair – have been hiding investments in mansions, yachts and other assets for the past quarter-century, according to a review of nearly 12 million files obtained from 14 firms worldwide.

The report was released Sunday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and also uncovered information on billionaires, celebrities, religious leaders and drug dealers.

Compiling the so-called "Pandora Papers" report involved 600 journalists from 150 media outlets in 117 countries, according to the Associated Press.

The roughly 330 current and former politicians identified as beneficiaries of the secret, offshore accounts to shield assets collectively worth trillions of dollars also includes Czech Republic Prime Minister Andrej Babis, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso, and associates of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The billionaires identified in the report include Robert T. Brockman, the former CEO of software maker Reynolds & Reynolds, the wire service also reports. 

The investigation looked into accounts registered in such familiar offshore havens as Belize, Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands but also found them in trusts established in the U.S., including 81 in South Dakota and 37 in Florida.

The investigation found advisers helped King Abdullah set up at least three dozen shell companies from 1995 to 2017, helping the monarch buy 14 homes worth more than $106 million in the U.S. and the U.K. One was a $23 million California ocean-view property bought in 2017 through a British Virgin Islands company. 

There was no immediate comment from Jordan's Royal Palace, also according to the Associated Press. 

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