The secret wealth and dealings of world leaders, politicians and billionaires including a politically affiliated Sri Lankan has been exposed in one of the biggest leaks of financial documents.
Some 35 current and former leaders and more than 300 public officials are featured in the files from offshore companies, dubbed the Pandora Papers.
They reveal the King of Jordan secretly amassed £70m of UK and US property.
A former Sri Lankan Deputy Minister has also been named in the Pandora Papers released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
According to the report, the former Deputy Minister and her husband controlled a shell company they used to buy luxury apartments in London and Sydney, and to make investments.
According to leaked files, they set up other shell companies and trusts in secrecy, and used them to obtain lucrative consulting contracts from foreign companies doing business with the Sri Lankan government and to buy artwork.
In 2018, one of the companies, Pacific Commodities, transferred 31 paintings and other South Asian art pieces to the Geneva Freeport, an ultra-secure warehouse where assets are not subject to taxes or duties.
In confidential emails to Asiaciti Trust, a Singapore-based offshore services provider, a longtime adviser of Deputy Minister’s husband put his overall wealth, as of 2011, at more than $160 million.
ICIJ couldn’t independently verify the figure.
Asiaciti Trust managed some of his offshore companies and trusts, with assets valued at about $18 million, according to an ICIJ analysis.
The firm listed him as a politically connected individual because of his wife’s political position.
The leak also links Russian President Vladimir Putin to secret assets in Monaco, and shows the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis – facing an election later this week – failed to declare an offshore investment company used to purchase two villas for £12m in the south of France.
It is the latest in a string of leaks over the past seven years, following the FinCen Files, the Paradise Papers, the Panama Papers and LuxLeaks.
The examination of the files is the largest organised by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), with more than 650 reporters taking part.