Paradise Papers: Prince Charles’ Embroiled In Tax Scandal
This week, it was revealed that millions of pounds from the Queen’s private estate had invested into an offshore account in the Cayman Islands and BrightHouse, a controversial British retailer that’s been criticised for exploiting poor people.
Now, another member of the royal family has been found to have been involved in investing money into an offshore haven. It has been revealed that Prince Charles’ estate made a massive profit on a stake held in his friend’s offshore forestry firm.
Charles, Prince of Wales — who is first in line to the throne — often campaigns for climate change and environmental issues. However, documents in the Paradise Papers leak show that that his estate invested millions into the firm Sustainable Forestry Management, run by Hugh van Custem.
However, he is not the only one. Other wealthy business people and high society figures have also invested in the firm.
In response to the revelations: a spokesman for Clarence House — the official residence of Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall — said: “The prince has never chosen to speak out on a topic simply because of a company that the duchy may have invested in. In the case of climate change, his views are well known. Indeed, he has been warning of the threat of global warming to our environment for more than 30 years.”
“The Duchy of Cornwall’s accounts are independently audited and presented to parliament every year. The Prince of Wales does not have any direct involvement in the investment decisions taken by the duchy. These are the responsibility of the duchy’s finance and audit committee.”
“Because it is a private estate we do not comment on the details of the investments beyond stating that they must adhere to its responsible investment policy, which governs the sectors that the duchy may invest in. In all cases, these investments do not derive any tax advantage whatsoever based on their location or any other aspect of their structure, and there is no loss of revenue to HMRC as a result.”
The Paradise Papers leak has revealed the techniques high profile individuals and top businesses take to place profits in offshore tax havens.
Key revelations include:
- Apple moved parts of its company to Jersey, one of the UK’s Channel Islands, to avoid paying tax.
- Lewis Hamilton avoided paying taxes on his private jet.
- Celebrities such as Nicole Kidman, Shakira, Madonna, Justin Timberlake and Martha Stewart have been found to have invested in offshore companies.
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