Queen's private estate 'invested millions of pounds in offshore tax havens'


JEREMY CORBYN called for a public inquiry into tax avoidance yesterday following the explosive Paradise Papers revelations.

The documents about Elizabeth's financial holdings are part of a tranche of some 13.4 million records of offshore accounts dubbed the "Paradise Papera", leaked to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Journalists and a network of more than 380 journalists in 67 countries.

"The queen is responsible for her investments; she should have instructed her advisers to ensure her money was invested ethically and that there was no tax-dodging involved", said Graham Smith, CEO of The Republic Campaign, which seeks to replace the monarchy with an elected head of state.

The Duchy of Lancaster, which provides the Queen with an income, held funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda – British overseas territories with no corporation tax and at the centre of the offshore financial industry.

Among public figures linked to the documents was the Queen's private estate which has millions of pounds invested in tax havens, the BBC reported. The Duchy added the BrightHouse holding now equates to only 3,208 pounds and it was not involved in fund investment decisions and claimed that it had been unaware the retail featured in the investments.

"The use of collective investment funds domiciled in locations such as the Bermuda and the Cayman Islands is legal, common and widely considered best practice portfolio management".

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A small exposure of the Queen discovered in the leasing company, BrightHouse, which was accused of the acquisition on the poor and Threshers - British chain of stores went bankrupt, owing £ 17.5 million of taxes and having left without work of 6 thousand people.

The queen's private fund, The Duchy of Lancaster, invested just under $10 million and became a limited partner of The Cayman Islands' "Dover Street VI Fund" in 2005.

A spokesperson for the Duchy of Lancaster said: "We operate a number of investments and a few of these are with overseas funds". U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was snared by the papers for doing business with a close relative of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But it said it fully complied with global and New Zealand tax laws. All of our investments are fully audited and legitimate. "The Duchy has only invested in highly regarded private equity funds following a strong recommendation from our investment consultants", he said.

While the Queen pays tax on any income she receives from the Duchy of Lancaster, any funds the Duchy owns that are listed in tax free havens may be able escape paying tax, thereby boosting their income.

He made the comment after he was specifically asked whether he wanted the Queen to apologise over her offshore investments.