Shakira, Iglesias, Ancelotti: Athletes, Coaches & Stars' Names Surface in Bombshell Pandora Papers
While the many politicians named in the freshly-released Pandora Papers are bound to attract most of the attention, it turns out they are not alone in a desire to tuck away cash assets in those nations with relaxed tax laws.
It looks like we may witness more bombshell tax evasion prosecutions akin to that Spanish authorities gave famed footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo. The newly-published Pandora Papers not only reveal offshore deals and accounts of world politicians, officials and crime bosses, but also mention multiple celebrities and sports stars.
While the complete analysis of work of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on nearly 12 million files is yet to come, some notable names have already been fished out.
Shakira, Schiffer and Bellucci
Colombian singer Shakira had at least three of her offshore companies set up by a firm called OMC Group, according to the ICIJ investigation. The star's lawyer claimed however that her offshore accounts are declared and money on them is accounted for, while insisting that Shakira never uses offshore accounts to evade taxes.
© REUTERS / ALKIS KONSTANTINIDISActor Monica Bellucci performs during the theatrical play 'Maria Callas: Letters and Memories' at the Herodes Atticus theatre in Athens, Greece, September 22, 2021.
Actor Monica Bellucci performs during the theatrical play 'Maria Callas: Letters and Memories' at the Herodes Atticus theatre in Athens, Greece, September 22, 2021.
German model and actress Claudia Schiffer was also mentioned in the Pandora Papers as having offshore assets. Her representatives claim, however, that she duly pays all her taxes in the UK.
Italian actress Monica Bellucci and Spanish tenor Julio Iglesias are also among those celebrities with offshore assets.
Several famous athletes and coaches have also been shown to use the services of companies that set up offshore accounts or trusts - accounts that could be used to avoid paying taxes or obscure true wealth from the prying eyes of authorities, sleuths or creditors.
Among them is former footballer and manager of Manchester City, Pep Guardiola. He used an offshore account in Andorra to store his income for playing for Al-Ahli in Qatar, but later accepted a tax amnesty offer and apparently closed the account.
Another professional football manager, Carlo Ancelotti, who was investigated by Spanish authorities for tax evasion, is also detailed in the Pandora Papers. Some of the companies that Spain associates with Real Madrid's manager were mentioned in documents leaked to the ICIJ investigators.
3 October 2021, 18:47 GMT
The Pandora Papers also mention several less famous athletes, who use offshore assets to store their income, such as ex-cricket Indian superstar Sachin Tendulkar, whose lawyer denies the sportsman used them to evade paying taxes.
The papers also featured two Canadians: 1997 Formula 1 winner Jacques Villeneuve, who is believed to have used offshores since the start of his career in 1992 and figure skater Elvis Stojko, who won three World championships, as well as two silver medals in the Olympics, between 1994 and 1997.