New global tax leak could implicate high profile individuals in SA

On Sunday evening, another set of leaks emerged which show how some of the world's wealthiest people and leaders are hiding their assets and avoiding taxes.

South Africa has been among several countries who have committed to clamping down on tax avoidance, but these leaks are set to implicate some in the country.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has been working with several partners from around the world, including AmaBhungane, to share the information contained in these papers.

This is said to be the biggest tax leak since the Panama Papers.

Stephen Grootes spoke to investigative journalist Micha Reddy about the Paradise Papers.

He explains how the 13.4-million documents relate to Appleby, an elite law firm with offices in offshore jurisdictions across the globe.

Documents mostly from a firm called Appleby but also from the corporate registries of numerous tax havens and secrecy jurisdictions across the world. There are a number of South African entities that did business either directly or indirectlty with the firm and that are listed in some of these tax havens.

Micha Reddy, investigative journalist at AmaBhungane

He says the leaks do not automatically imply any wrongdoing but is likely to link these companies to unlawful activities.

There are a number of big firms, firms listed on the JSE that appear on the leaks and seriously are implicated in all sorts of wrongdoing. For instance Glencore, one of the biggest clients of the firm Appleby and they have a very dodgy track record in various parts of the continent.

Micha Reddy, investigative journalist at AmaBhungane

In many cases tax avoidance in terms of the letter of the law is perfectly legal. The problem is that its morally unconscionable in some cases for you to be paying more tax than multinational companies raking in millions and millions of profits.

Micha Reddy, investigative journalist at AmaBhungane

He says the papers reveal the extent of the network in the offshore system and loopholes that allow multinationals to pay less tax.

To hear more from Reddy, listen here....


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