An investigation conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has again brought the focus back on how global elites have been secretly stashing their wealth in order to avoid scrutiny.

The Pandora Papers investigation has revealed the offshore financial assets of many current and former world leaders, hundreds of politicians, celebrities and sportspersons.

Nearly 12 million confidential documents obtained from 14 separate legal and financial services firms are part of the Pandora Papers investigation.

As per the ICIJ, it offers a sweeping look at an industry that helps the world’s ultrawealthy, powerful government officials and other elites conceal trillions of dollars from tax authorities, prosecutors and others.

The investigation related to the Pandora Papers is similar to the Panama Papers but on a much larger scale. Having said that, here are the biggest revelations so far:


King Abdullah II, Jordan’s monarch, is one of the top names in the Pandora Papers. He used an English accountant in Switzerland and lawyers in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to secretly purchase 14 luxury homes worth $106 million, including a $23 million property in California, reported the ICIJ.

UK attorneys representing King Abdullah II said he was not required to pay taxes under Jordanian law and added that he has never misused public funds and has “security and privacy reasons to hold property through offshore companies.”


Another big name in the Pandora Papers is Andrej Babis, who is the prime minister of Czechoslovakia.

Babis, who is currently running for re-election, moved $22 million through offshore companies to buy a lavish estate on the French Riviera in 2009 while keeping his ownership a secret, said the ICIJ.


The Pandora Papers also revealed that Azerbaijan’s ruling Aliyev family traded around $540 million worth of UK property in recent years. This was reported by the Guardian, one of the ICIJ media partners.

The report revealed that Queen Elizabeth II’s crown estate bought one property worth almost $91 million from the Aliyev family and is currently in the middle of an internal review into the purchase.


The Pandora Papers have also revealed that several US states including South Dakota and Nevada have adopted financial secrecy laws that “rival those of offshore jurisdictions’ and demonstrate America’s “expanding complicity in the offshore economy”. This was reported by the Washington Post, one of the ICIJ media partners.

The report suggested that one former vice-president of the Dominican Republic finalised several trusts in South Dakota to store his personal wealth and shares of one of the country’s largest sugar producers.


The ICIJ investigation shows that several members of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s inner circle, including current and former cabinet ministers secretly owned an array of companies and trusts holding hidden wealth worth millions of dollars.

This could emerge as a massive setback for Khan, a former cricketing star, who campaigned for Pakistan’s highest office as the head of a reformist party and promised a strong anti-corruption agenda when he came to power.

A spokesperson for the Pakistan prime minister had said that Khan has no offshore companies but ministers and advisers “will have to be held accountable” for their individual acts.


The investigation has revealed that Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife saved around $4,22,000 by using an offshore company to purchase an office in London’s Marylebone area worth nearly $9 million. It was partially owned by the family of a Bahrain minister, reported the Guardian.

While the report said there was nothing illegal about the deal, it added that it “highlights a loophole that has enabled wealth property owners not to pay a tax that is commonplace for ordinary Britons”.


Several associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s have been named in the Pandora Papers. While Putin is not directly named in the ICIJ, he is linked via associates to secret assets in Monaco. The most notable one is a waterfront home acquired by a Russian woman Svetlana Krivonogikh, who is reported to have a child with Putin.

The leaks revealed that the $4 million Monaco property was purchased through an offshore company towards the end of 2003 for the woman, who is a native of Putin’s hometown Saint Petersburg.

An Oscar-nominated film producer, Konstantin Ernst, who is known as Vladimir Putin’s chief image-maker, has also been named in the Pandora Papers.

However, Russia has dismissed leaks implicating Putin.


At least 380 Indians have been named in the Pandora Papers including former MPs, film stars and bankrupt businessmen and even a former cricketing megastar. The Indian Express, a media partner of the ICIJ, has released several reports from Monday that show how Indian elites have or had stashed their wealth offshore.

Top Indians mentioned directly or indirectly in the Pandora Papers investigation, as per the Indian Express, including Anil Ambani, Niira Radia, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Sachin Tendulkar, Nirav Modi, Iqbal Mirchi’s family, Jackie Shroff and family, Samir Thapar, Vinod Shantilal Shah Adani, Pramod Mittal and more.

The Indian government has ordered a multi-agency probe involving the Central Board of Direct Taxes, Enforcement Directorate, Reserve Bank of India, and Financial Intelligence Unit to investigate the cases mentioned in the Pandora Papers.

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