Tax avoidance, understood as the use of the so-called ‘loopholes’ in the tax legislation to reduce one’s tax payments increasingly tops news charts. The recent Pandora Papers, EU’s blacklist of 17 tax havens, Paradise Papers and the Panama Papers are among the starkest examples.
The Kenyatta family has ruled one of Africa’s largest economies for decades. But to the Swiss advisers who helped them funnel wealth into tax havens, they were ‘Client 13173’.
Reporting on the Pandora Papers leak has robbed the country of the opportunity to use the revelations as a catalyst for change.
As revelations of offshore abuses by elites continue to pour out, there is a growing realization around the world that there is “one set of rules for them, and another set of rules for everybody else”.
Journalists from the BBC, The Guardian and Finance Uncovered, spent months matching the names of company owners found in the Pandora Papers with UK Land Registry records to discover who really bought hundreds of UK properties. The result is the most comprehensive dataset ever published focusing on rich and powerful Nigerians who have secretly bought UK property.
The Pandora Papers are nearly 12 million files — totalling close to 2.94 terabytes — leaked from 14 companies that provide corporate services in offshore jurisdictions.
The Pandora Papers, based on almost 12 million documents leaked from 14 companies that provide corporate services in offshore jurisdictions, expose some of the most prominent current or former leaders and politicians as beneficiaries of offshore accounts.
The Kenyatta family, Kenya's first family twice over, has perhaps, one of the deepest investments in Kenya’s economy than any political family. But a global leak of documents from offshore secrecy locations has exposed the family's long standing use of companies, and trusts in Panama and the British Virgin Islands. The leak is called Pandora Papers. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists shared this leak with Africa Uncensored, who, with contributions from Finance Uncovered, can now report on the Kenyatta family's secret companies.
Seven members of the Kenyatta family are revealed through the Pandora Papers as being variously connected to 11 offshore companies and foundations.
The investigation was based on hundreds of pages of confidential files provided by Jonathan Taylor, a former SBM lawyer turned whistle-blower. The documents include emails, contracts, legal advice and corporate intelligence reports. Journalists also had access to hours of secret audio recordings of SBM crisis meetings.
Twenty-four Kenyan financial institutions were named in the reports as either beneficiaries’ banks or banks through which companies and individuals made suspicious payments from countries that include the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, British Virgin Islands and China.
An international team of investigative journalists has uncovered new facts about the lead-up to the explosion, which killed at least 182 people, injured over 6,000 and caused hundreds of thousands to lose their homes.