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BOB GELDOF used a tax haven to make money from business deals across Africa, according to leaked documents.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has obtained a cache of emails from a law firm based in Mauritius which it says sheds new light on the scale of global tax evasion.
Live Aid founder Mr Geldof is one of the most high-profile figures named in the leaked documents.
His private equity firm, 8 Miles LLP, has a headquarters on Mauritius for “tax reasons,” according to one email.
The company has stakes in Ethiopian wine, an Egyptian chemicals manufacturer and Uganda’s leading producer of chicks.
Mr Geldof’s business spent thousands of dollars seeking tax-planning advice from a law firm, Conyers Dill & Pearman.
Emails from that law firm have now been leaked and reportedly show Mr Geldof’s team discussing how to pay less tax.
An 8 Miles spokesman told the ICIJ that “the companies we invest in pay all taxes in their home jurisdiction in Africa” and sale proceeds are paid back into Mauritius only after a company’s sale.
But Alex Cobham from the Tax Justice Network said: “The revelations coming out of Mauritius are yet more proof of the fact that the international rules we have for taxing multinational corporations and wealthy individuals have been corroded beyond use.
“Mauritius is the 14th most corrosive corporate tax haven in the world, as ranked by our Corporate Tax Haven Index, putting the island on a long list of jurisdictions that have been left to line their own pockets at the expense of other governments’ ability to pay teachers’ wages, build hospitals and ensure a level playing field for local businesses.
“What makes law firm Conyers Dill & Pearman’s deplorable behaviour more outrageous is that this behaviour is the norm not the exception — roughly $500 billion is dodged in tax each year globally by multinational corporations.
“Shutting down one law firm won’t stop dishonest corporations and individuals from finding another loophole or shady secrecy jurisdiction to slither into.
“We’re calling for a UN convention that makes sure all jurisdictions uphold their duty to be tax transparent.”
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