The Queen of England and Donald Trumps commerce secretary are among the ultra-rich revealed by The Paradise Papers to have hidden their wealth in offshore tax havens. The Paris Papers is a leaked document that contains 13.4 million files and covers the time period between 1950 and 2016. Nearly 100 media partners were involved in the project and the data was analysed with the help of more than 300 journalists from 67 countries.

The Queen’s secret

According to information contained in the Paradise Papers, the Queen's private funds were invested in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands to the tune of 10 million pounds.

Some smaller investments were uncovered in BrightHouse which is a rent-to-buy retailer criticized for charging customers exploitative rates. Yet another investment was in the now defunct Threshers chain of off-licences. Investments were made by the Duchy of Lancaster which handles the monarch’s investments.

The Russian connection

One offshore investment with a Russian connection involves Donald Trump’s commerce secretary Wilbur Ross. His relationship with the US president goes way back when he helped him out of a potential bankruptcy situation in the 90’s. The leaked documents show that Ross has interest in a shipping business that works for a Russian energy company with ties to Vladimir Putin.

This revelation comes at a time when Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team are investigating the alleged Russian interference in the US elections.

Canada’s PM caught up in the scandal

Justin Trudeau had campaigned heavily against tax havens but now his chief fundraiser is in hot water. The Paradise Papers exposed the offshore dealings of Stephen Bronfman, who is also a key aide and friend of the Prime Minister.

Documents show that his firm moved millions offshore over a 20 year period and involves a retired senator Leo Kolber who was also a party fundraiser. The papers allege that Bronfman funneled money into a Cayman Island trust his firm handles for Kolber.

The growing offshore empire

Most of the documents in the Paradise papers have to do with Appleby, an offshore law firm.

It also lists the activities of corporate registries in 19 tax havens and uncovered the involvement of companies and individuals including large corporations, leaders in the business world, celebrities and politicians that include Apple, Bono, Nike, and Facebook. Tax haven schemes involve the Rich And Famous and is becoming increasingly complex and difficult to police as individuals and companies look for ways to avoid paying taxes.