Elizabeth II, Madonna implicated in tax haven scandal

Millions of Queen Elizabeth's private funds have been invested in offshore tax havens, as revealed in a cache of 13.4 million leaked files called the "Paradise Papers", which were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Suddeutsche Zeitung also alleged that Dover Street further invested in a subsidiary company called Vision Capital Partners VI B LP to buy into two United Kingdom retail chains, one of which was BrightHouse. While there is nothing unlawful about holding money offshore, in many cases the disclosures may be embarrassing.

The spokesperson of the Duchy was quoted saying in the report, "The Duchy has only invested in highly regarded private equity funds following a strong recommendation from our investment consultants".

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and singers Bono and Madonna are among the 127 internationally known figures linked to offshore tax havens, according to a journalistic investigation published by media outlets.

The documents also made it possible to establish the Queen, through her Duchy holdings, came to acquire in 2007 an indirect stake in a now-defunct British chain of alcohol stores and that rent-to-own company, called BrightHouse. "All of our investments are fully audited and legitimate", the Duchy of Lancaster said in a statement.

The documents, released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists this past weekend, name more than 120 business and political leaders, including several in the orbit of the Trump administration, connected to more than 200,000 offshore tax shelters.

Just last week, it emerged BrightHouse had agreed to reimburse customers to the value of almost £15m after agreeing a compensation package with the Financial Conduct Authority, following a two-year investigation.

Downing Street said Mrs May did not have any direct offshore investments and her assets were held in a blind trust, in line with normal practice for ministers.

Opposition Labor MP Margaret Hodge, the former chair of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, said she was "pretty furious" with the Queen's investment advisers for endangering her reputation.

"The Dover Street investment was bought in 2005 and forms only 0.3% of the total value of the duchy".

The documents show the Duchy of Lancaster put 5 million pounds in the Jubilee Absolute Return Fund Limited in Bermuda in 2004, with the investment coming to an end in 2010. "The situation is made worse by revelations her wealth management team have invested in an offshore portfolio", the campaign group said.


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