Keyword: tax havens

A tale of dosh and France's complex reaction to money

By

President Emmanuel Macron's recent reference to the “shedloads of dosh” that the state pays out in benefits has sparked a lot of discussion about money in France. The controversial phrase was followed by revelations about a huge payout awarded to the outgoing chief executive of a major French company, a controversy over the cost of presidential crockery and a mini-row over footballers' pay. But as Hubert Huertas explains, how people in France react to discussions about money depends on where that money comes from - and who is receiving it.

How chief prosecutor at International Criminal Court owned companies in tax havens

By and Sven Becker (DER SPIEGEL)
Luis Moreno Ocampo at the ICC in The Hague on March 3rd, 2011. © Jerry Lampen/Reuters Luis Moreno Ocampo at the ICC in The Hague on March 3rd, 2011. © Jerry Lampen/Reuters

Luis Moreno Ocampo managed companies based in some of the most notorious tax havens in the world while serving as chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, documents obtained by Mediapart and analysed by the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) reveal. When challenged about his offshore financial activities the former star prosecutor said that his salary at the ICC “was not enough”. Mediapart's head of investigations Fabrice Arfi and Sven Becker of German publication Der Spiegel report.

Lifting the lid on an unsavoury football transfer business

By Yann Philippin, Michaël Hajdenberg et Michel Henry

Documents obtained from the whistle-blowing platform Football Leaks and analysed by Mediapart and its partners in the journalistic collective European Investigative Collaborations (EIC), provide an astonishing insight into events surrounding the transfer of French midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia from Sevilla to Monaco in 2013. The sometimes sordid saga surrounding Kondogbia’s transfer, in which the player had no part, involved secret commission payments and a plan to hold a sex party in Miami for the president of Real Madrid – who strenuously denies ever taking part in the event. Yann Philippin, Michaël Hajdenberg and Michel Henry report.

How Paul Pogba’s trademark was transferred offshore

By Yann Philippin, Michaël Hajdenberg et Michel Henry
Paul Pogba (right) with his agent Mino Raiola. Paul Pogba (right) with his agent Mino Raiola.

Paul Pogba, the world’s most expensive football player, has provided rich pickings in commissions for his agents. Beyond the lucrative returns on his transfer fees, the 23-year-old French midfielder’s image rights represent a major source of revenue both for the player and his intermediaries. In the space of two years, and amid a bitter dispute between two of his agents, Pogba’s image rights have been managed by a company in Luxembourg, subsequently by another in Ireland, and are now held by a shell company in the Channel Island tax haven of Jersey, according to documents obtained by the journalistic collective European Investigative Collaborations, of which Mediapart is a founding member. Yann Philippin, Michaël Hajdenberg and Michel Henry report.

José Mourinho, the British Virgin Islands and tax havens

By Michael Hajdenberg, Michel Henry, Yann Philippin
The 'Special One' José Mourinho. © Reuters The 'Special One' José Mourinho. © Reuters

The football manager dubbed the “Special One” who is currently in charge of Manchester United hid 12 million euros in Switzerland via an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands that he controlled through a New Zealand trust. Documents from Football Leaks show that José Mourinho hid some information from the tax authorities. As Michael Hajdenberg, Michel Henry and Yann Philippin report, this could lead to potential criminal proceedings against the manager if the tax authorities decide to reopen their files. Mourinho and his advisors strongly deny any wrongdoing.

When Ronaldo's goal was to escape taxes

By Michael Hajdenberg, Michel Henry, Yann Philippin
Cristiano Ronaldo. © Reuters Cristiano Ronaldo. © Reuters

Beginning in 2008, Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo channelled just under 150 million euros earned from commercial deals into the Caribbean tax haven of the British Virgin Islands and in Switzerland, according to documents from the whistle-blowing platform Football Leaks and revealed by Mediapart and its media partners in the European Investigative Collaborations consortium. After first avoiding the scrutiny of the Spanish tax authorities, the Real Madrid player wound down the offshore company involved in the scheme, escaping a potential tax payment of 31 million euros. Michael Hajdenberg, Michel Henry and Yann Philippin report.

Panama threatens France over blacklist move

The Panamanian government has warned of retaliatory measures after France announced it will put Panama back on a tax haven blacklist.

Hollande says France to pursue tax evaders unmasked by Panama Papers

The French president thanked whistleblowers for the revelations in joint media investigations which he said would lead to recovery of unpaid taxes. 

France joins call for fresh assault on tax havens

Paris, Berlin and Rome want new EU law to ban 'aggressive tax planning' in move seen as an attack on current practices in Luxembourg.

France sees flood of tax regularisation requests

Budget minister says 8,500 tax cheats have come clean after government agreed to reduce punishment for those who hide funds abroad.

Tax havens 'hiding 5,800 billion euros': the shocking audit of a worldwide scam

By

French economist Gabriel Zucman is carving a reputation as one of the leading specialists on the growing business of organized tax evasion and the cost of tax havens to the public purse. Zucman, an assistant professor with the London School of Economics and a visiting scholar with the University of California, Berkeley, has just completed his latest study of this gigantic worldwide fraud, published in France under the title ‘La Richesse cachée des nations - Enquête sur les paradis fiscaux’ (The hidden wealth of nations -an investigation into tax havens). In this interview with Dan Israel, he presents his calculations of the staggering amounts of assets secretly stashed in tax havens across the globe, and offers his own proposals for tackling the problem.

France steps up assault on tax havens

French tax authorities have added Jersey, Bermuda and British Virgin Islands to their blacklist of 'uncooperative' tax havens in world.

How ArcelorMittal milks Europe for tonnes of money

By
Lakshmi Mittal © Reuters Lakshmi Mittal © Reuters

ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producer whose chairman and CEO is London-based Indian tycoon Lakshmi Mittal (pictured), pays hardly any taxes in Europe. Making the most of the tax-break competition between European Union countries, the group juggles transfer pricing and optimal fiscal gains for its financial flow. But behind what may appear to be a common sense business approach that makes the most of what’s on offer lies a secretive organisation that prevents any proper scrutiny of the real economic performance of ArcelorMittal’s plants or subsidiary companies. In this first of a two-part investigation, Martine Orange traces the steel giant's history and lifts the veil on its hidden practices.

Behind the Cahuzac scandal, a political time-bomb hidden in Geneva

By
 © Reuters © Reuters

The still-unfolding scandal surrounding the secret foreign account of former budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac, first revealed by Mediapart last December, has rocked the French political establishment to its core. But it may not be the last such explosive revelation. For the private Geneva-based financial institution that Cahuzac used to manage his funds hidden abroad, Reyl & Cie, is alleged by several sources contacted by Mediapart to have provided its discreet services to other French personalities - including senior political figures. Dan Israel pieces together a secret and complex financial puzzle, with the help of insiders from the world of finance and banking in Geneva and Paris.

France's President Hollande: Eradicate tax havens

President also announced new national, specialist prosecutor for fraud and corruption plus new agency to monitor assets and interests of politicians.