EU left red-faced after two key figures caught up in Pandora Papers scandal

Charles Michel outlines the 'roadmap' for EU defence

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The Pandora Papers investigation has exposed the secret wealth and dealings of world leaders. The leak of financial documents has implicated some 35 current and former world leaders and more than 300 public officials. EU politicians have not gone unscathed, the papers reveal how Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis allegedly failed to declare an offshore investment company used to purchase two villas for £12m in the south of France.

In the papers, the Czech Prime Minister is accused of using a string of offshore shell companies to buy a sprawling property, known as Chateau Bigaud, in a hilltop village in Mougins, France, near Cannes.

Mr Babis is facing an election later this week.

The papers reveal how global figures have been creating off-shore companies to secretly purchase property in London.

The investigation found that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his family have allegedly been secretly involved in property deals in the UK worth more than £400m.

Mr Aliyev has been accused of looting his own country to siphon wealth to different parts of the world.

The Aliyev’s appear to have made a profit from one of their London properties by selling it to the Crown Estate.

The Crown Estate is the Queen’s property portfolio that is managed by The UK Treasury.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades also features in the documents.

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The files show how the King of Jordan allegedly amassed £70m of UK and US property.

The papers also reveal how Tony Blair saved £312,000 in stamp duty when he purchased a London office.

It is legal to acquire properties in the UK via purchasing an off-shore company.

However, Mr Blair has been critical of these tax loopholes in the past.

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According to the Pandora Papers investigation, a law firm founded by Anastasiades acted as a key offshore go-between for wealthy Russians.

The Pandora Papers is the largest haul of secret papers yet to be investigated, containing more than 11.9 million files.

The files from off-shore companies were retrieved by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The papers implicate many international figures in corruption, money laundering and tax avoidance scandals.

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