Leaked documents reveal how the British property market was flooded with billions of offshore money
A massive leak from Mossack Fonseca a Panama based law firm details how world rich have been using offshore companies to hold billions in UK property. This leak has been dubbed “The Panama Papers”. World leaders, business people and celebrities are among those whose anonymous ownership of London property has been exposed by the massive leak.
The president of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan owns over £1.2 billion in property in the UK via offshore companies supplied by Mossack Fonesca. The includes
– Russian businessman Leonid Fedun is the owner of £23 million flat at One Hyde Park.
– Former HSBC boss Michael Geoghegan owned his Kensignton property via an offshore company.
– Tory Donor Javad Marandi owned his £3.5 million Knightsbridge property via an offshore company.
– Irish telecoms tycon owned flat in Whitehall court.
– Russian business magnet German Khan owns £62 million Eaton Square house
– and the list goes on
Over £170 billion of UK property is held in offshore companies which is legal. However the money put through these companies can be hidden and help the owners hide illegal money and help money laundering. This has helped fuel house price inflation in the UK and especially London.
David Cameron was forced to issue a statement on Tuesday detailing his family’s personal tax arrangements amid growing international scandal surrounding the Panama Papers leak.
Mr Cameron took the unusual step of insisting that neither he, his wife or children receive any benefit from an offshore company Blairmore Holdings set up in Panama by his late father Ian, which paid no tax in Britain for 30 years.
A source close to Blairmore Holdings – which is still operating with assets of £35 million – said the company had been moved because its directors believed it was about to “come under more scrutiny”.
Details of Ian Cameron’s offshore business interests were revealed in the so-called Panama Papers – a leak of 11.5 million documents from the Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca – which claimed their first major scalp on Tuesday with the resignation of Iceland’s Prime Minister.