: The Guardian: USD 1.3 trillion of Russia's assets sitting offshore

12:23 May. 10, 2016

The Guardian: USD 1.3 trillion of Russia's assets sitting offshore

V. Putin is said to have hidden nearly 2 billion U.S. dollars with cellist Roldugin assisting

Research provided on the threshold of anti-corruption summit in the UK

The analysis, carried out by Columbia University shows that by the end of 2014, USD 1.3 trillion of assets from Russia were sitting offshore, the Guardian wrote. This is according to the figures coming from global institutions including the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations, follow the Panama Papers revelations of global systemic tax avoidance.

More than USD 12 trillion has been siphoned out of Russia, China, and other emerging economies into the secretive world of offshore finance, as David Cameron prepares to host world leaders for an anti-corruption summit, the Guardian said.

Read also ICIJ: Offshore network tied to Putin

Chinese citizens have USD 1.2 trillion stashed away in tax havens, once estimates for Hong Kong and Macau are included. Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia – all of which have seen high-profile corruption scandals in recent years – also come high on the list of the worst-affected countries.

Oil-rich countries including Nigeria and Angola feature as key sources of offshore funds, the research finds, as do Brazil and Argentina. Henry, a former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey, told the Guardian that the owners of this hidden capital were often so keen to secure secrecy and avoid their wealth being appropriated back home, that they were willing to accept paltry financial returns rather than investing it in ways that might promote economic development. Charging just 1% tax on this mountain of offshore wealth would yield more than USD 120 billion a year, almost equivalent to the entire USD 131 billion global aid budget.

Read also RFE/RL: Names of Russia's elite vanish from public property records

Now David Cameron is being urged to push for agreement on a series of issues at an anti-corruption summit on Thursday, including a tougher crackdown on the banks, lawyers and other professionals who facilitate financial secrecy and an obligation on all politicians to make their personal financial situation transparent.

Reported by UNIAN

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