Paradise Papers

DEFINITION of 'Paradise Papers'

The Paradise Papers are 13.4 million leaked files from offshore service providers and company registries obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. They reveal the offshore interests and activities of politicians, world leaders and celebrities and the tax engineering of more than 100 multinational corporations. (See also: Taking a Look at Tax Havens)

Over half of the files are leaked loan agreements, financial statements, emails, trust deeds and other paperwork from a single offshore law firm headquartered in Bermuda called Appleby. Also included in the Paradise Papers are half a million documents from the Singapore-based Asiaciti and 6 million documents from company registries in 19 secrecy jurisdictions. 

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) along with 95 media partners in six continents explored the files before publishing stories on them on November 5, 2017. 

BREAKING DOWN 'Paradise Papers'

Glencore PLC (GLCNF), the world's largest commodity trader and one of Appleby's biggest clients, is revealed to have diverted millions of dollars through tax havens, conducted currency swaps of over $25 billion and made a $45 billion loan to Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, a close friend of the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, in exchange for Gertler's help in securing approvals from the country's government.

Other noteworthy findings include investments in Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) linked to firms owned by the Russian government, commerce secretary Wilbur Ross's investment in a shipping firm with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Queen Elizabeth II's $13 million private investment in funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.