The problem is not that some people are getting rich. It is that people are becoming rich by evading tax, and transferring and parking ill-gotten gains in tax havens abroad.

The latest Pandora Papers expose by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists(ICIJ)-a network of over 600 journalists who have trawled millions of documents sourced from 117 countries-showed how a self-perpetuating elite made up of politicians and businessman have used the anonymity of shell companies and offshore tax heavens to conceal their assets.

At the International level.35  current and former political leaders and over 300 top public officials have been creaming off their economies. For instance, the King of Jordan secretly splurged Euro 70 million on UK and US properties, while Russian President Vladimir Putin acquired secret assets in Monaco.

The ICIJ investigation found that nearly 50 politicians and public from 18 African countries had connections to offshore entities. The most important include: Uhuru Kenyata, President of Kenya, Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of the Republic of the Congo, Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon, Patric Achi, Prime Minister of Ivory Coast, Jim Muhwez, Security Minister of Uganda, Aires Ali, Former Prime Minister of Mozambique

These are not just rogue defaulters.It is now an International System that knits together the rich with compliant banks,Law firms and accounting wizards who works together to evade the law.

The IMF estimates the use of tax heavens has cost Governments worldwide up $ 600 Billion in lost taxes each year. There have been the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers in the past, and there have been SITs set up. But there has been little closure. If we don’t see SWIFT action soon, cynicism about the Government’s intent will begin to set in.

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