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tv   Britains Offshore Secrets Exposed -...  BBC News  November 8, 2017 3:30am-4:01am GMT

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havens overseas. it is an island paradise. sunshine and fun. welcome to bermuda, a beautiful island in the atlantic, but it's a lot more than a few pretty beaches. this place attracts williams of dollars from all across the globe, from the super rich and big business. these places are selling secrets to facilities handling dirty money and a big part of the game is hiding it. but now that secrecy has been breached. appleby is a legal firm that sells offshore services. 7
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million of the documents have been leaked. that's the head office. you have to be very careful at this stage of the investigation. because appleby don't know that we have their d'etat. —— data. we have been working on the documents for the past year. this march we were invited to a secret meeting in munich. we don't talk about what we are doing. the documents were leaked to the german newspaper. we don't talk to our friends or families or oui’ talk to our friends or families or our colleagues. they are sharing the
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documents with the international consortium of investigative journalist. in the uk that is panorama and the guardian. the more journalists are looking at the information, the more stories that emerge. it will be very interesting to the public because this is the kind of information that never out before. —— that has never come out before. —— that has never come out before. the leak has been called the paradise papers. secret contracts, agreements and deals that were never supposed to be seen. over the next two nights, panorama will show you the hidden stories. the paradise
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papers contain some of the biggest names in britain. some at the very heart of the establishment. including one who lives here. our very own queen is investing offshore. the queen's investment is handled by the dutch of lancaster. now because of the files we can see exactly where some of that money is going. they reveal millions of pounds of secret offshore investments. it is £10 million in tax havens. perfectly legal and no suggestion the dutch is avoiding tax. what should the monarch‘s cash really be offshore, a place of lax regulation, low tax and secrecy?m the money has been invested in a tax
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haven i would have thought it would be extremely embarrassing for the queen and the royal family. be extremely embarrassing for the queen and the royalfamily. we expect higher standards of the queen, in terms of where the investments are located. half of the 10 million was invested in the cayman islands. a tax haven where the queen is head of state. now, we can't see where all the money went, but the documents showed that dutch invested in medical and technology companies and two british high st retailers. one was the off—licence chain thresher. it went bust owing £70 million to the taxman. the other was the small amount in the went to buy retailer bright house. two weeks ago it was fined nearly £50 million for irresponsible lending. she is
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in. now, we weren't given a figure for threshers but said its investment in bright house currently equates to over £3000. it says: it is so obvious that if you are looking after the money of the monarchy you have to be cleaner than clea n monarchy you have to be cleaner than clean and you must never go into the dirty world of money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion. there's a lot more about the british establishment found the paradise papers. i do swear by the almighty god that i will be faithful... lord
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ashcroft has given more than £10 million to the conservative party. and the billionaire was also the pa rty‘s and the billionaire was also the party's treasurer and its deputy chairman. for the last 20 years lord ashcroft has been one of the most significant donors to the conservative party. he is also being a very important organisationally and hugely significant. -- he has also been. at our documents reveal the scale of lord ashcroft‘s tax avoidance, how he ignored financial rules and repeatedly misled the public. evidence from the papers could leave him facing a tax bill of tens of millions. lord ashcroft‘s tax status became a political scandal in 2010. lord ashcroft, deputy chairman of the conservative party, has confirmed that he doesn't pay tax in the uk on most of his
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foreign earnings. it went on for ten yea rs foreign earnings. it went on for ten years while he was sitting in the house of lords. our documents show for the first time how much cash lord ashcroft was receiving in those yea rs. lord ashcroft was receiving in those years. look at the payments, the money kept coming. they total around $200 million. and lord ashcroft didn't have to pay a penny in tax. you can be an offshore financier, you can leave millions in some ghastly tax haven and have nothing to do with britain, but what he appears to be doing is having the best of both worlds. having —— being an offshore person and then doubling mischievously and having great influence on british politics. all
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those payments came from something lord ashcroft set up, a trust which had assets worth up to almost half £1 billion. overtime gave become ways by which to put assets inside a legal fortress and still be able to benefit from them and control them. the trust was one from appleby‘s office in bermuda. —— was wrong. lord ashcroft could legally avoid tax on payments from the trust as long as he followed the rules. and the most important rule is that independent trustees oversee the trust. but the documents showed the trustees were worried about how lord ashcroft was behaving. as you go through the e—mails, you get this
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rising sense of frustration that lord ashcroft is not paying by the rules. this one puts it pretty simply. the trustees even issue a warning for lord ashcroft. it says: that looks like lord ashcroft controlling the trust and expecting the trustees to rubberstamp his decisions. the trustees are worried and expressing worry and that is a clear red flag. on the evidence i've seen it looks like something that is abusive behaviour and an abusive structure. if lord ashcroft was making the decisions, he could face a huge tax bill. he is risking on
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doing those avoided taxes and putting himself up for penalties and what have you by meddling with the trust assets without having the trustees sign of the way they are supposed to. i've come to the conservative party conference. we sent letters to lord ashcroft‘s home and his office, but they were sent back to us unread and unopened. but we did get an e—mailfrom his public relations man, an ex— tory message. in it he says lord ashcroft has access to this letter and could read it at any time he makes it quite clear that this will never happen. lord ashcroft said he wouldn't respond because of the unfair way panorama had treated him in the past. so i tracked him down. lord ashcroft, hi. iwork for
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past. so i tracked him down. lord ashcroft, hi. i work for panorama. you wouldn't take my letters. can i have a quick word? did you have tens of millions in an offshore trust that you secretly controlled? did that you secretly controlled? did that mean you could avoid millions in tax through that trust? you just talk to me. it would be great to hear your view. it was the trust in which you made some decisions and the trustees... it would be great to know your view. if you did control... i'm really keen to get your view. really keen to get your view. just give me your view. do you think if you did have money in that trust you could face a big tax... we are going for a walk, we are holding hands, this is what i talked for. —— hoped for. why do you just stop and
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add to my questions? it will take one minute. did you have tens of millions in an offshore trust that you secretly controlled? yes or no? therefore, did you avoid millions by having your money in that trust? because if you did, you could face a big tax bill. where are we going? this is amazing. why don't you just give me your view? why don't you just give me your view? we could have been sponsored. why do you just tell me your view. it would be really nice to get your view. just give me your view. did you secretly control of trust in which you had to tens of millions, therefore avoiding tax? did you do that? did you do that? it would be great to know. this is brilliant. i'm not going to follow you in there. i've never
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quite had a chat quite like that. we just want to have a word with mr ashcroft. he said "dear, dear, dear" about 200 times. lord ashcroft‘s law yea rs about 200 times. lord ashcroft‘s law years had later said i started shouting something at him, i which time lord ashcroft had walked away and heard nothing. lord ashcroft did not have a clue as to what was being said to him. there's one last lord ashcroft revelation. after the scandal of 2010, he continued to sit in the house of lords. it seemed he had finally become an ordinary taxpayer for good. but this document about his tax status reveals he didn't. it says lord ashcroft‘s true
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domicile is belize. it is legal but once again we had all been the —— mislead. i think it's very important that people who play a role in our public life as straightforward about their dealings. i think it's a major political explosion. it will raise huge questions about notjust the conservatives but the house of lords. so what about appleby, the company that oversaw lord ashcroft‘s trusts? they said that appleby does not specialise in tax and would play no roll in advising the advantages and disadvantages of any particular structure. these are confidential and commercially sensitive documents related to appleby and its clients.
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it isn't just the related to appleby and its clients. it isn'tjust the british establishment. the paradise papers also reveal new details about america's biggest political scandal. you can talk all you want about russia, which was all a fake news... i will tell you right now zero. i have nothing to do with russia. we have nothing to do with russia. we have discovered that a senior member of donald trump's cabinet has been quietly trading with the russians. he isa quietly trading with the russians. he is a billionaire cold wilbur ross. —— called. they became close after donald trump bought a casino in the 80s. donald trump gave michaeljackson a tour of his $1.2 billion extravaganza. the deal
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pushed donald trump to the brink of bankruptcy. wilbur ross stepped in to save him. wilbur ross was a key negotiator in donald trump not having to go through bankruptcy and not going to the dustbin of history. if it was not for wilbur ross he would not be in the white house. when he became president, donald trump nominated wilbur ross to be his commerce secretary. but our documents show a different side to wilbur ross. the man in charge of us trade policy had dozens of companies in tax havens. appleby, it turns out, helped create and manage the 50 companies and partnerships that work connected to wilbur ross's investment firm. wilbur ross said he cut ties with businesses that could
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compromise his new role in the us government. your service has resulted in your divest in yourself of literally hundreds of millions of dollars. you did it to avoid any conflict of interest, correct? that is correct, sir. we don't think that is correct, sir. we don't think that is correct. we have discovered that he has a stake in a shipping company called navigator holding. one of its major clients is sibur, a company with close links to the kremlin. vladimir putin's son—in—law is a shareholder. another is one of flat ina pit shareholder. another is one of flat in a pit in‘s oldest friends. whenever you see a major energy company that is controlled by oligarchs, as this one is, with such close connections to the russian state, you have to realise that you
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are doing business notjust with a private company, but in some sense with the government of russia. private company, but in some sense with the government of russiam 2014, mr tim janko was sectioned by the us government, who said that his activities in the energy sector have been directly linked to the regime. but wilbur ross kept his ties to the company. if i ran but wilbur ross kept his ties to the company. ifi ran a business of consulting, i would advise any client to stay well away from sibur, and you don't want to get noticed and you don't want to get noticed and 70 who plays could see all walks right aligned with sanctioned individuals. if you know anything about the russians, it is that under the current system, it is easy to get dirty. —— get noticed by anybody who plays ftse. don't go there. wilbur ross says he never owned a
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majority of navigator shares and has never met gennady timchenko or vladimir putin's son—in—law. he points out that sibur is not subject to sections, and he says he has taken to sections, and he says he has ta ke n ste ps to sections, and he says he has ta ken steps to to sections, and he says he has taken steps to ensure the highest ethical standards. when you are in a position to profit, even indirectly, in this case, from a very well—connected russian firm, and europe, as the investor in charge of us trade policy, and have a voice in the sanctions, anybody looking at that will imagine there is a potential conflict, there. and it's wayne rooney! great finish! everton — arsenalfrom a wayne rooney! great finish! everton — arsenal from a few weeks ago. a thrilling advertisement for british football. but what we have found in the paradise papers raises serious
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questions about our national game. what if one man and his money were secretly linked to both of these clu bs ? secretly linked to both of these clubs? this is a leisure oarsmen off, another billionaire who is close to vladimir fudan. he is one of london's's richest men, and owns 30% of arsenal, one of the wealthiest clubs. we have entered a new error where we win trophies. but we think some of his money may have also ended up in everton. —— era. half—time, and it is 1—1 and both
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sets of says a desperate put their tea m sets of says a desperate put their team to win. the story centres on this man and begins a decade ago. farhad machinery used to work for alisher usmanov as an accountant. now, he is a tycoon who has just bought everton. so where did his wealth come froms well, the story sta rts wealth come froms well, the story starts with farhad moshiri and alisher usmanov buying a joint stake in arsenal back in 2007. but the documents suggest alisher usmanov pay for the whole stake. this one shows his company, epion holdings providing the money. farhad moshiri's lawyers said that was true, but he put his own money into
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arsenal later. they include a gift from alisher usmanov to farhad moshiri for the arsenal deal. that matters, because nearly a decade later, farhad moshiri sold his interest in arsenal to raise capital to purchase everton football club. it looks like that capital originally came from alisher usmanov. so this document shows farhad moshiri... we showed our evidence to the former head of the fa. he then gifts the money to farhad moshiri, who will in turn invest in the company. it would be interesting to see whether that brea ks interesting to see whether that breaks the premier league rules. my instinct is that if the premier league knew this, they would, or they have done all would do, their own investigation. it everton are convinced that this was an above the board transaction, and it was not
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all alisher usmanov‘s money. they need to be questions asked. i believe the premier league would wa nt to believe the premier league would want to look at the whole relationship between the two men and the two clubs. but the avenel- arsenal game, and the great goals keep coming. and everton are being taught a footballing lesson here by arsenal, whose striker... but what is going on and off the pitch? farhad moshiri's lawyers insist he is independently wealthy, but he hadn't answered our questions about whether his source of wealth was a gift from alisher usmanov. farhad moshiri, is alisher usmanov the real owner of everton, so? you are crazy. have you seen a psychiatrist?m came from alisher usmanov, didn't
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it? it was a gift? where did you get this idea? it is untrue. it is untrue? it is not a gift. so it came asa untrue? it is not a gift. so it came as a gift and alisher usmanov kb the money and you invested in arsenal, then sold your shares in arsenal... you have worded wrong. a gift it yours. you are saying it he loaned 100 million to you, right? he has never let me anything... right, but it was alone, you to pay back. i didn't have to do either of them, because it was my own. if i give my friend £5, whose is it? it is his. but if the premier league saw how the money went... they have all the information. stop asking. they have every piece of information. his
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club, everton, said details of farhad moshiri's purges were approved by the premier league. —— purchases. but they have not seen oui’ purchases. but they have not seen our document about where the money came from any first place farhad moshiri's lawyers later strongly denied he received a gift from alisher usmanov, who also denies giving it. farhad moshiri says all the documents that mention a gift area the documents that mention a gift are a mistake. but this document describes how alisher usmanov will give money to him. and these public documents seem to show it happening. 54 million cypriots pounds, that is 63 million in pound sterling, went from alisher usmanov to farhad moshiri's company in 2008. farhad moshiri's company in 2008. farhad moshiri claims it had nothing to do with the arsenal deal, and was part ofan
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with the arsenal deal, and was part of an employee incentive scheme, a loa n of an employee incentive scheme, a loan he had later paid back. there is more in the papers that suggests alisher usmanov could be involved in everton. this is the isle of man, home to the financial company that administered the deal: matter do. one of their responsibilities is to carry out checks, due diligence, on their clients. but one document from 2007 says that bridgewaters is actually owned by alisher usmanov. —— administered the deal: bridgewaters. here is a detail about alisher usmanov, and it says the client has bought a trust company in
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the isle of man called bridgewaters. if this is true, if alisher usmanov actually owns the company, then it is an outrageous conflict—of—interest. it is like owning the police to police too. —— owning the police to police too. —— owning the police that are supposed to police too. both alisher usmanov and farhad moshiri strongly denied that the billionaire controls the company. but the more we look for connections between alisher usmanov and everton, the more we found. the company that owns everton football club, blue heaven holdings, was set up by
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bridgewaters, and its separate agent, bridgewaters two. and the other director works for alisher usmanov. tomorrow night, more revelations from the paradise papers. the islands that change the law to help tax dodgers. will you say it to our viewers who pay their tax? the millionaires that can live the high life because they don't pay tax. why don't you tell us your side of the story? so you, why it, are you dodging tax? and the television stars and the tax fiddle. peter weir but your tax breaks? —— can you tell
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me about your tax breaks? welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: president trump addresses south korea's national assembly, issuing a stark warning to the leader of its northern neighbour kim jong—un. the weapons you are acquiring are not make you safer, they are putting your regime in grave danger. every step you take down the stark path increases the peril you face —— dark
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path. the prince and the paradise papers. charles is accused of a conflict of interest with offshore investments in bermuda that stood to gain from his private campaigning.

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