The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on Sunday released a colossal bunch of confidential records – Paradise Papers. As per the ICIJ website, the Paradise Papers are “a new leak of confidential records which reveals the financial hideaways of iconic brands and power brokers across the political spectrum.” The critical documents discuss the offshore financial activities of the “1 percent” of the world and prominent personalities like Queen Elizabeth, Donald Trump, Jordanian Queen Noor al-Hussein and at least 120 politicians are listed in the papers. The most startling revelation that the documents give out is about United States President Donald Trump and his Russian ties.
According to the Paradise Papers, Donald Trump’s commerce secretary Wilbur Ross has added more than $68 million to his personal coffers since 2014 through a venture with a Russian energy company Sibur. The energy firm is partly owned by Russian president Vladimir Putin. Also, Ross holds financial interests in Navigator Holdings which mints millions of dollars transporting oil and gas for Sibur.
Earlier in 2017, Wilbur Ross terminated his affiliations with at least 80 firms before he joined the Trump cabinet but the Paradise Papers reveal that he has continued to hold stakes in the firms partly owned by Russians. It should be noted that Sibur was the main highlight when Barack Obama administration introduced US sanctions against Russia but Ross still maintains close ties with it.
Now, these strong personal and financial ties raise a plethora of questions about Donald Trump’s administration and its stance towards Russia. Ever since Donald Trump has come into power, allegations of Russian interference in his presidential campaign continues to haunt him. Although he has called the media scrutiny “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history”, the recent revelations certainly put him in graver troubled waters.
Disclaimer: There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any people, companies or other entities included in the ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly. Many people and entities have the same or similar names. We suggest you confirm the identities of any individuals or entities located in the database based on addresses or other identifiable information.