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Prince's private estate invested millions in offshores

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The Duchy of Cornwall, the estate of the UK’s Prince Charles, has invested millions of pounds in offshore funds and firms, the UK media reported, citing Paradise Papers leak. reports that according to The Guardian, among others, it came to light that in 2007 the Prince of Wales’s private estate secretly bought shares worth of $100,000 in the Sustainable Forestry Management Ltd. company (SFM), a Bermuda-registered business belonging to one of Prince Charles' close friends Hugh van Cutsem, a millionaire banker.

According to the Paradise Papers, the Duchy of Cornwall sold its SFM stake in 2008, which nearly tripled in value. Currently, the offshore company is no longer in existence and millionare Van Cutsem, the firm's director, died in 2013.

Moreover, the leaked documents also show that the duchy commited to invest over $1,000,000 in a private equity fund registered in the Cayman Islands.

However, the Duchy of Cornwall said that Prince Charles was not directly involved in any investment decisions.
According to The Guardian, before the Paradise Paper leak, there had been no public revelations that the royal private estate had ever any offshore interests.

On Sunday, the US-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), as well as multiple media, published materials, based on the leaked database of powerful individuals’ and corporations’ offshore activities. The database includes 13.4 million documents with information about a number of prominent figures including members of US President Donald Trump’s administration, as well as the companies Apple and Uber.

The ICIJ is widely known for releasing the well-publicized Panama Papers last year. The documents included thousands of leaked files from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, which revealed alleged illegal financial practices of officials and public figures from various countries. Mossack Fonseca has refused to confirm that the leaked papers were authentic, although it claimed that it had been hacked.

2017.11.08 / 10:48
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