New press investigation reveals 14 world leaders hid billions to avoid taxes

A new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), revealed Sunday that 14 current world leaders have hidden billions of dollars in wealth to avoid paying taxes.

Another 21 leaders who have already left office also have hidden property and assets, according to the new ICIJ probe known as the “Pandora Papers,” which focuses on the secret finances of more than 300 public officials, including government ministers, judges, mayors and military generals in more than 90 countries all around the world.

Among the leaders the report profiles is King Abdullah II of Jordan, who the ICIJ claims spent $100 million on luxury homes in California and elsewhere, as well as Czech Republic Prime Minister Andrej Babis and Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso, Chilean leader Sebastian Piñera and the Dominican Republic’s Luis Abinader, The Washington Post, the BBC and The Guardian – some of the media outlets that published the leaks – reported.

According to the BBC, Lasso, who was a businessman and banker before becoming Ecuador’s president, stopped using a Panamanian entity to make monthly payments to his relatives and began using another entity in South Dakota, a US state that has transformed itself into a tax haven on a par with other such jurisdictions in Europe and the Caribbean.


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