11:05 GMT +320 June 2019
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    UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

    Cameron Says Father’s Offshore Fund ‘Standard Practice’

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    UK Prime Minister David Cameron testified in parliament on Monday on the allegations that his late father hid family money abroad, saying the offshore firm set up by Ion Cameron was a "perfectly normal type of collective investment fund."

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Cameron commented on the release of his tax returns in light of media reports that claimed he could have received undeclared interest from investment in the Blairmore Holdings fund.

    "It wasn’t a family trust. It was a commercial investment fund for any investor to buy units in. UK investors paid all the same taxes as with any other share, including income tax on dividends every year," Cameron said. "This is an entirely standard practice and it is not to avoid tax."

    He explained that the investment fund had been set up overseas in one of the main centers of dollar trading because it was going to be trading in US dollar securities.

    Cameron said allegations against his father were "deeply hurtful" and "profoundly untrue." He also denied having a stake in the fund. "Since 2010, I’ve not owned any shares or any investments," he assured lawmakers.

    At the same time Cameron claimed that the UK government is introducing new legal and investigative measures to fight tax evasion.

    Addressing the parliament following the release of materials alleging to ties of high-profile officials to offshore schemes, Cameron reminded that the United Kingdom would become the first country in the G20 to have a public record of beneficial ownership in June.

    "We are taking three additional measures to make it harder for people to hide the proceeds of corruption offshore," Cameron said.

    Cameron said he would use the upcoming global anti-corruption summit on May 12 to call for intensifying international efforts and greater openness.

    "We’ll legislate this year for a new criminal offense to apply to corporations who fail to prevent their representatives from criminally facilitating tax evasion. We are providing initial new funding of up to 10 million pounds [$14.3 million] for a new cross-agency task force to swiftly analyze all the information that’s been made available from Panama and take rapid action," the prime minister said.

    Cameron has come under fire following the Panama Papers allegations for failing to immediately acknowledge his father’s directorship of an offshore investment fund run from the Bahamas. Cameron was later revealed to have received a tax-free inheritance from his father and given gifts by his mother in possible avoidance of inheritance tax.

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    Tags:
    tax evasion, offshore, Panama Papers, David Cameron, United Kingdom
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