Scotland's Paradise Papers


Scotland's Paradise Papers

In one of the biggest offshore data leaks in history, Mark Daly investigates the secret world of the rich and powerful.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Crikey, she sounds pretty stressed.

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Where exactly are you?!

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This is a story about money,

and how the rich and powerful

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try to hide it from the taxman.

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It's the big guys who

are using their power,

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their strength and their monetary

advantage in order

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to game the system.

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There do seem to be different

rules for billionaires.

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In one of the biggest offshore

data leaks in history,

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we learn how corporate giants

shift their profits

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and avoid the taxman thanks

to the world's tax havens.

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The trouble with this stuff

isn't that it's illegal.

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The trouble is that it's legal.

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If these companies are not

paying their fair share of taxes,

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it means you and I are paying more.

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It's as simple as that.

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It's a story about how big

business and billionaires

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use an elite law firm,

operating in tax havens right

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on Britain's doorstep.

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It looks like the Isle

of Man ExecuJet company

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was a tax avoidance vehicle,

which allowed ExecuJet to avoid

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more than $1 million

in tax over three years.

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That is absolutely wrong.

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These are Scotland's

Paradise Papers.

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You've been hearing

about a leak ? it's a big one.

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It's from inside Appleby,

a law firm with offices

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in every major tax haven.

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More than 13 million Appleby

documents were obtained by German

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newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung,

who shared them with

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the International Consortium

of Investigative Journalists.

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The ICIJ has been coordinating

a global investigation,

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which includes BBC Panorama

and the Guardian newspaper,

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and involves more than 350

journalists in over 100 countries.

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These are documents that

should never have seen

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the light of day, basically.

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Every person who pays taxes should

care about what we're seeing here.

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We are looking at a firm called

Appleby,.

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We are looking at a firm

called Appleby,.

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Appleby, which is the principal

focus of this investigation,

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they're part of what they call

the magic circle of offshore law

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firms - in other words,

the elite of the elite,

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and their clients are also

the elite of the elite.

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And there are some big names.

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Lewis Hamilton's tax

dodge on his private jet.

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Cast members of Mrs Brown's Boys'

offshore tax-avoidance scheme.

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And the inner circles of the most

powerful men in the world.

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You can't dismiss this

as just a few bad guys.

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This is a whole system used

by the most powerful

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and the wealthiest, the biggest

corporations - exposed.

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BBC Scotland's investigations team

is the only Scottish media partner

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with access to the leak,

and has been working

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inside the Paradise Papers

for the past six months.

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There are thousands

of documents relating to Scots

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businesses and people -

some of them you'll have heard of,

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and some you won't.

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But they've all got one thing

in common ? avoiding tax.

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Blackstone - not a household name,

but a global private equity giant

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managing over $350 billion

worth of assets.

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It's founder and chief executive

is Stephen Schwarzman,

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a close confidant of President

Trump.

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And his company has a major

interest in Scotland.

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St Enoch Centre in Glasgow.

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One of the most recognisable

buildings in the country.

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It was bought by Blackstone

in 2013 for £190 million.

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Blackstone is one of Appleby's

biggest customers, and the law firm

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was integrally involved

in the purchase of St Enoch.

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The Paradise Papers lay bare

the lengths Blackstone,

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one of the biggest, richest

companies in the world,

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went to to avoid paying UK taxes.

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The data reveals the confidential

reports by one of the UK's

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biggest accountancy firms,

Deloitte.

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Under the codename Project Genesis,

they provide a step-by-step guide,

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tailor-made to help Blackstone avoid

tax at every stage of

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the purchase of St Enoch.

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It starts with a deft

swerve of £7.6 million

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in stamp duty land tax,

made by possible by owning

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the shopping centre through a Jersey

property Trust, or JPUT.

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Jersey is a Crown Dependency -

which means it's independent,

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but ultimately the UK

is responsible.

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And, like several of the UK's

Overseas Territories,

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it's a tax haven.

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Jersey specialises in Trusts,

and there are thousands

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of them based here.

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One of the many main

benefits to holding, say,

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property in a Trust is privacy -

it's completely hidden

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from the public.

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But the other main attraction

is that it helps companies avoid

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paying British taxes.

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This Trust we're interested in is

operated by something the called

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St Enoch Centre Trustee Company

Limited.

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Its registered address is here,

at Appleby's Jersey office.

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Its directors are Appleby staff.

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It's a brass plate company,

which means a company with no

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obvious economic relationship

to a shopping centre in Glasgow.

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What did the islands' leading

politician think about companies

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using Jersey to avoid the UK taxman?

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If there are concerns

in the United Kingdom about how

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people are structuring

their investments into

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the United Kingdom...

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If there are concerns there,

then the United Kingdom Government

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should change its tax code

to deal with them.

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Some organisations use Jersey

as part of a complicated

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ownership structure.

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Some might say that the way

that the way Jersey Trusts

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operate isn't transparent.

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The United Kingdom Government

and their competent authorities can

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request information about what's

happening in Jersey wherever

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they might have a concern,

and we're at the stage now

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where that information can be

exchanged in as little as an hour.

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We asked George Turner,

tax researcher and campaigner,

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to look into this structure for us.

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What you have here at

the St Enoch Centre to all intents

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and purposes is an economic fiction.

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The property is owned

by a Trust in Jersey.

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So when the original owners sold

the property to Blackstone,

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they weren't selling

the property itself.

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They were selling an interest

in the Trust that own the property,

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and because that Trust is owned

offshore, they can avoid stamp duty.

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So that's £7 million

or £8 million saved right away.

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Saved, or taken.

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The Jersey Trust is owned

by a series of Blackstone

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Luxembourg companies.

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Despite having a major base

in London, Blackstone has been given

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non-resident landlord status

by HMRC, meaning they can collect

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rental income on the property

tax-free and send it to Luxembourg.

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The data suggests that

could be £10 million a year,

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but they should pay corporation

income tax on that in Luxembourg.

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But do they?

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So what appears to be

happening is that the rental

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income which is coming in,

the companies that are receiving

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that are then borrowing huge amounts

of money from other companies

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which are part of

the Blackstone Group.

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Now, when they borrow that money,

they need to pay interest on it,

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and those interest payments destroy

any profitability

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in those companies.

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And the end result is no tax is due?

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Because they're borrowing

money from themselves,

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they can claim a tax

deduction on that.

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According to registry documents,

the Luxembourg companies

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in the St Enoch structure paid just

a few thousand pounds

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a year in taxes.

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And, guess what?

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If Blackstone sells the place on,

the Jersey Trust structure

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will allow them to avoid capital

gains tax, too ? which could run

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into tens of millions.

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It seems like a complete charade.

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A Glasgow shopping centre

generating cash in rental

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income here in Scotland,

but that cash flows tax-free out

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of Scotland and over

to Luxembourg via the tax haven

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where the St Enoch Centre

is effectively owned in Jersey.

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Deloitte, the architects of

the structure, declined to comment.

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It's not the first time

Blackstone used these methods.

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This is Chiswick Park ? a business

centre in West London.

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Blackstone bought it in 2011 -

and in tax advice, this time

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from accountancy firm PwC.

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And there was no messing about.

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It states the proposed tax

structure was designed:

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To mitigate, where possible,

taxes on acquisition.

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To minimise ongoing income,

corporate, withholding

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and other taxes in UK,

Jersey and Luxembourg.

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To minimise tax on exit from a UK,

Jersey and Luxembourg perspective.

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The language is quite shocking,

because it's so blatant

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what the intention is.

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Blackstone sold Chiswick Park

to the Chinese government

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in 2014 for a £300 million.

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So it would appear Blackstone

followed the PwC advice

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to the letter, and paid no stamp

duty, paid next to no

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income tax on the millions

of pounds of rental income,

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and no capital gains

on the disposal.

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Not a bad bit of business.

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PwC told the BBC...

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"The advice we provide

is given in accordance

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In a statement, Blackstone said:

"Blackstone's investments are wholly

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compliant with UK and international

tax laws and regulations".

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The properties were acquired

by "Institutional investors,

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and are of a type commonly used

for decades for investments

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in UK real estate."

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And were "Adopted after appropriate

advice was taken from leading tax

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and legal advisors".

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So, whilst Blackstone was

the beneficiary of the structure,

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it was Appleby who implemented it.

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And that's what they do.

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They'll create companies

for you in tax havens,

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even provide the directors.

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There are thousands of examples

of this in data, and some

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specifically involves one

of Scotland's biggest industries -

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Ithaca Energy, a Canadian company

with its headquarters in Aberdeen.

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In 2012, they were in the process

of buying a share in this.

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FPF-1 is a floating

oil production vessel.

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The company agreed a deal

for £18 million to buy half

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of FPF-1 and share it

with two other companies.

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But just days before

the transaction, they decide

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they need a shell company

in a tax haven.

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Why would a Canadian company

with its headquarters in Aberdeen

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need a Bermudan company

to own its stake in an oil vessel

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working in the North Sea?

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The Paradise Papers

could have the answer.

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Ithaca's Aberdeen office tells

Appleby: "It is important

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for our tax position

that the company is managed

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and controlled from Bermuda".

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Seems clear enough.

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Ithaca need the company to operate

properly, for tax reasons.

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Appleby agree to provide

a local director.

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There're reasons to head to Bermuda

other than its sun-kissed beaches -

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mainly the island's

generous tax laws.

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There are no taxes

on profits or income.

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But does the company have any real

business in Bermuda?

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Or is it just a show

for tax purposes?

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Take this minute of a company board

meeting in June 2012.

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It says two Ithaca executives called

in from Canada and the UK,

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and Appleby's Bermudian director

fails to attend.

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An Ithaca board meeting in Bermuda,

with apparently no-one in Bermuda.

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We asked an international tax

expert for his opinion.

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I think the reality of the matter

is this whole show was being run

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from Aberdeen, not from Bermuda.

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The only reason to have a Bermudan

company in there is because

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Bermuda's a tax haven,

and they can get interest into it

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without paying taxes,

and whenever the Canadian company

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wants to withdraw the money

they can withdraw the money

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without paying any taxes.

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I can't see any other reason

to have this extra holding

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company in the structure.

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FPF-1 only started producing

oil this year - and,

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because of tax breaks,

won't pay UK tax until 2020 anyway.

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So what's the point?

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I think the point

is looking forward.

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You want to plan ahead

when you do these things,

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because doing it when you actually

are profitable is harder.

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For a few weeks, we've been trying

to get some answers from Ithaca

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about just what exactly the purpose

of this Bermudan company was.

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They say it's got

nothing to do with tax.

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Our evidence suggests otherwise.

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I'm going to go and knock

on their door and see

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if someone will talk to us.

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Hello.

Hello.

Mark Daly, BBC

Scotland.

How are you?

Very well.

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We're just trying to find

out what the purpose

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of the Bermudan company is?

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The Bermudan company exists to hold

an asset that we have a share of.

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Why hold it in Bermuda?

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It's convenient for future

deals that we may do.

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It's a complex business.

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Is it a real company,

the Bermudan company?

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Absolutely.

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Because nothing really

happens there, does it?

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I mean, you have board meetings.

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You've even had board

meetings where nobody's

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been physically present,

and people have been

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calling in from abroad.

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That would suggest, would it not,

that the company's being

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managed and controlled

from outside of Bermuda?

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Mark, Mark, you're concocting

a story, and frankly

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part of the reason that

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to have approached this

with a story in mind,

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and I don't think it's helpful

to create a story based

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on partial information.

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Maybe you could give us

the full picture, then?

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Now, the information that we have

suggests very strongly

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that the Bermudan company

was created for tax purposes.

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No, no that's not true.

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I think we've said very clearly

that that's not true.

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Now, you can choose to believe

us, or not believe,

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us, that's up to you.

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Have a good day.

All the best, thank

you very much for speaking to us.

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In a statement, Appleby

said it works in "highly

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regulated jurisdictions",

and advises clients

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on "legitimate and lawful ways"

to conduct their business.

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Within the millions of documents

in this leak, we can see it's not

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just corporate giants who have used

Appleby to try to

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help them avoid tax.

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Our data reveals even

middle-sized property developers

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were getting in on the act.

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This is Logie Green

Road in Edinburgh.

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In 2009, a number of addresses

on this street were sold

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for millions of pounds.

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The deal involved a group

of investors who included

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Chris Stewart and Alex Watts.

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The deal was done for a very

healthy profit indeed.

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The data shows more than £5

million profit was made.

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£750,000 due to Stewart

and £1.3 million to Watts.

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The data suggests they tried

to take their cut offshore

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to the Isle of Man, where Appleby,

who were then called

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Dickinson Cruickshank,

created a land Trust called

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the Palmerston Partnership.

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An internal Appleby memo sets out

the purpose of the scheme: "A UK

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property development in Scotland

utilising a Land Trust Partnership

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structure to mitigate any tax due".

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"Profits from the sale

have been distributed

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amongst the partnership".

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And here's how it worked

for the Edinburgh pair.

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An Isle of Man vehicle

called the Palmerston

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Partnership was created.

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Two offshore Trusts

were also created -

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one for Stewart, one for Watts.

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The profits from the Logie Green

land deal flowed into

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the partnership in the Isle of Man.

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From there, Stewart and Watts' cuts

were moved into their Trusts, of

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which they were the beneficiaries.

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And it gets even more complicated.

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Appleby set up two companies

to act as Trustees, called

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Muttermore and Cuttermore.

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These were supposedly independent

of Stewart and Watts.

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Appleby staff then sign off

on a series of loans to companies

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registered in Scotland,

which were controlled

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by Stewart and Watts.

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So what does all that mean?

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I needed an expert,

and Philip Simpson is one

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of the country's leading tax QCs.

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The structure is well-known as a tax

avoidance structure.

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Certainly the documents I've seen

strongly suggest the motive

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for using it was to avoid UK tax.

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So it's difficult to come

to any other conclusion

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than that the purpose

of it was avoiding UK tax

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in a fairly aggressive manner.

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But in 2012, HMRC came calling.

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A deeply unhappy Mr Watts wrote

to Appleby expressing concern over

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the way the structure had been

managed, which could "weaken any

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position with HMRC",

which he said would be "looking

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to attack wherever they can".

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Seemingly worried HMRC

will see through the scheme,

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Mr Watts writes: "If as a layman

I am picking these up,

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what am I missing?

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That experts at HMRC will not".

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In layman's terms, the taxman

caught up with them.

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That's what it looks like.

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If one might put it in a colloquial

manner, then yes, one

0:18:320:18:35

might put it like that.

0:18:350:18:40

Appleby documents suggest the pair

had, at least initially,

0:18:400:18:42

avoided more than £1 million in tax

from the profits.

0:18:420:18:44

So I had a few

questions for Mr Watts.

0:18:440:18:47

Mr Watts, Mr Watts.

0:18:470:18:48

Hi there, Mark Daly, BBC Scotland.

0:18:480:18:51

I've just got a few questions

for you, would you mind?

0:18:510:18:53

I would mind, actually.

0:18:530:18:54

Would you?

0:18:540:18:55

I'd just like to ask

you about your offshore Trust.

0:18:550:18:58

We have written to you to ask a few

questions about your Trust.

0:18:580:19:01

And we've written back,

so I think we've been fairly

0:19:010:19:03

reasonable with you,

and we've written back to you.

0:19:030:19:05

I think what you're doing is really

pretty unethical, actually,

0:19:050:19:08

from journalistic guidelines so I'd

rather just leave it there.

0:19:080:19:12

Well, the thing is,

you haven't actually

0:19:120:19:13

answered our questions,

which is why we're

0:19:130:19:15

here this morning.

0:19:150:19:16

Well, you know...

0:19:160:19:17

On the profits of the

Palmerston Partnership,

0:19:170:19:19

£1.3 million was your share.

0:19:190:19:20

How much tax on that did you pay?

0:19:200:19:22

OK, I'm not going to answer.

0:19:220:19:24

You've written to us,

and we've responded

0:19:240:19:26

to you professionally and properly.

0:19:260:19:27

What you're doing here...

0:19:270:19:37

Mr Watts' spokesperson told us

he was a "positive tax

0:19:400:19:43

contributor" who had always

lodged his tax returns.

0:19:430:19:45

He added that "following legislative

changes", Mr Watts entered

0:19:450:19:47

into "open and cooperative

discussion with HMRC" to establish

0:19:470:19:54

any potential tax due

on a "retrospective basis".

0:19:540:19:56

Mr Stewart's spokesperson

told us that "all tax

0:19:560:19:58

has been paid in full",

and any "retrospective tax payments

0:19:580:20:00

paid" ahead of "timescales

discussed with HMRC".

0:20:000:20:03

She added that there

was "no case to answer",

0:20:030:20:06

that HMRC was "in possession

of all relevant facts" and that "no

0:20:060:20:08

tax is owed to HMRC".

0:20:080:20:14

The key to the Palmerston

Partnership was the Isle of Man.

0:20:140:20:18

Stories about the island

come up again and again

0:20:180:20:20

in the Paradise Papers.

0:20:200:20:24

I'm here to investigate one

of them ? it involves

0:20:240:20:27

a billionaire and private jets.

0:20:270:20:35

The aviation business is clearly

a big part of what Appleby

0:20:350:20:37

does on the Isle of Man.

0:20:370:20:39

The trouble with this stuff

isn't that it's illegal.

0:20:390:20:41

The trouble is that it's legal,

but it's only available to people

0:20:410:20:44

with enough money to pay the right

lawyers and accountants

0:20:440:20:46

to do it for them.

0:20:460:20:51

One day, in June 2012,

there was much excitement

0:20:510:20:53

in the office behind me.

0:20:530:20:56

Appleby had been contacted by a very

exclusive private jet company

0:20:560:20:58

from Switzerland, called ExecuJet.

0:20:580:21:02

Could you set up an Isle of Man

company for us, Appleby were asked.

0:21:020:21:05

Yes, we could, Appleby said.

0:21:050:21:07

Could you provide some

directors for us?

0:21:070:21:09

Yes, we could, Appleby said.

0:21:090:21:10

And can you do it today?

0:21:100:21:12

We'll try our very

best, Appleby said.

0:21:120:21:16

The firm even waives some

of its usual background checks

0:21:160:21:19

to guarantee it closes the deal.

0:21:190:21:22

Perhaps because the owner

of ExecuJet is one of

0:21:220:21:24

the richest men in the world -

Dermot Desmond, best known

0:21:240:21:28

here as the largest single

shareholder of Scotland's biggest

0:21:280:21:30

football team, and with an estimated

fortune of around £2 billion.

0:21:300:21:36

He's familiar with offshore ?

his 35% share of Celtic

0:21:360:21:39

is held by in Gibraltar.

0:21:390:21:44

He's also no stranger

to controversy.

0:21:440:21:45

Matt Cooper, sued by Mr Desmond in

2011, has written extensively him.

0:21:450:21:51

Dermot Desmond came to prominence

during the 1980s in Ireland,

0:21:510:21:54

and he was regarded as a somewhat

brash, somewhat flash figure.

0:21:540:21:57

You don't become a billionaire

unless you are absolutely aggressive

0:21:570:22:00

in making sure that you make as much

profit as you can from your

0:22:000:22:03

businesses and that you keep as much

of that profit for yourself.

0:22:030:22:09

Mr Desmond's luxury jet firm had

offices all over the world.

0:22:090:22:12

So why did they need Appleby to make

them an Isle of Man company?

0:22:120:22:18

This internal Appleby memo states

ExecuJet has taken Swiss tax

0:22:180:22:21

guidance and found out that

having their Swiss headquarters

0:22:210:22:26

as the main company

on their insurance policy "has

0:22:260:22:28

a negative tax consequence",

as they would need to pay a 5%

0:22:280:22:31

levy under Swiss law.

0:22:310:22:33

"ExecuJet would like to set up

a company in the Isle of Man,

0:22:330:22:39

namely ExecuJet Limited,

to be the primary insured

0:22:390:22:41

under the policy".

0:22:410:22:45

So by switching to a brass plate

company set up by Appleby,

0:22:450:22:48

ExecuJet swerves up to $200,000

a year in Swiss taxes,

0:22:480:22:50

just like that.

0:22:500:22:54

But that's not all.

0:22:540:23:00

ExecuJet also receives

a brokerage fee back

0:23:000:23:02

from its insurers every year -

but this is classed as income,

0:23:020:23:05

and should be taxed in Switzerland.

0:23:050:23:06

Appleby can see to that, too.

0:23:060:23:08

In another memo, Appleby write:

"This is a low-risk structure that

0:23:080:23:11

has been set up to receive monies

due to EAG under the insurance

0:23:110:23:14

policies on the group aircraft.

0:23:140:23:18

By having the monies paid

into the Isle of Man entity,

0:23:180:23:20

EAG are not required to pay Swiss

tax on the income of around 22%.

0:23:200:23:27

We expect to receive two payments

per year of approximately

0:23:270:23:29

US$600k under this policy".

0:23:290:23:36

For ExecuJet to get the tax benefits

of being based in the Isle of Man,

0:23:360:23:40

it has to be managed

and controlled from there.

0:23:400:23:42

But the only employees

there are the directors

0:23:420:23:44

Appleby provided for them.

0:23:440:23:46

And it seems Switzerland

was calling the shots.

0:23:460:23:51

This email from head office clearly

instructs Appleby to transfer more

0:23:510:23:56

than $500,000 to the ExecuJet

group's bank account in Switzerland.

0:23:560:24:00

My understanding, having

read the legislation,

0:24:000:24:05

is that if individuals

in Switzerland are making

0:24:050:24:12

all decisions as regards

what the IOM companies does,

0:24:120:24:14

then, from a Swiss point of view,

the IOM company may be resident

0:24:140:24:18

in Switzerland for tax purposes.

0:24:180:24:21

And if it's resident in Switzerland,

then despite the structure that

0:24:210:24:23

has been put in place,

stamp duty is due on the insurance

0:24:230:24:28

premium paid, and Swiss corporation

is due on the money received back

0:24:280:24:34

from the insurance broker.

0:24:340:24:35

So the Swiss taxman might have

something to say about the up

0:24:350:24:40

to $1.3 million in tax that seems

to have been avoided

0:24:400:24:45

by Mr Desmond's company.

0:24:450:24:47

Would you say this was an aggressive

tax avoidance vehicle in operation?

0:24:470:24:50

It would certainly be reasonable

to describe this as aggressive,

0:24:500:24:52

given in particular what appears

to be a lack of economic

0:24:520:24:58

substance to the IOM company.

0:24:580:25:04

I hoped someone at ExecuJet Isle

of Man's registered office,

0:25:040:25:06

which is here at Appleby,

could help with some answers.

0:25:060:25:15

No joy.

0:25:150:25:16

So perhaps Mr Desmond himself

could provide some answers.

0:25:160:25:21

We knew there would be one

place his own jet would be flying

0:25:210:25:27

into on a Champions League evening,

so we tried to catch

0:25:270:25:29

up with him there.

0:25:290:25:31

Were you aware that, whilst

the company was under your control,

0:25:310:25:33

that ExecuJet was using a shell

company in the Isle of Man

0:25:330:25:36

as a tax avoidance vehicle?

0:25:360:25:43

We never used any company

as a tax avoidance vehicle.

0:25:430:25:45

What was the Isle of

Man ExecuJet company for, then,

0:25:450:25:48

if not for avoiding tax?

0:25:480:25:51

Well, then you'll have

to educate yourself.

0:25:510:25:57

So, ExecuJet asked Appleby to set

up effectively a shell

0:25:570:25:59

company in the Isle of Man

so that the company would not be

0:25:590:26:02

liable for Swiss aviation tax.

0:26:020:26:04

Is that not case, Mr Desmond?

0:26:040:26:10

You're incorrect.

0:26:100:26:15

Could you put me right, then?

0:26:150:26:17

I'm not duty-bound to educate

you in how we run our affairs.

0:26:170:26:22

We have written several letters

to you to try and get clarity

0:26:220:26:25

on what the situation is,

and what it looks as if,

0:26:250:26:27

as it looks like, the Isle

of Man ExecuJet company was a tax

0:26:270:26:31

avoidance vehicle, which allowed

ExecuJet to avoid more

0:26:310:26:32

than $1 million in tax

over three years.

0:26:320:26:37

That is absolutely wrong.

0:26:370:26:39

But maybe you could tell us,

what was the Isle of Man company

0:26:390:26:42

for if not to avoid tax,

Mr Desmond?

0:26:420:26:46

That is exactly, that

is our own business.

0:26:460:26:48

Every company in the Isle of Man

is not for avoidance of tax.

0:26:480:26:53

OK, one final question.

0:26:530:26:54

Did ExecuJet Isle of Man

help ExecuJet avoid tax?

0:26:540:27:01

Absolutely not.

0:27:010:27:02

OK, Mr Desmond, thanks

very much for your time.

0:27:020:27:05

Mr Desmond wasn't prepared

to give too much detail

0:27:050:27:08

about the Isle of Man company,

but what he did say was that it

0:27:080:27:11

was not a tax avoidance vehicle.

0:27:110:27:13

But I'm afraid, in terms

of what the Isle of Man company

0:27:130:27:16

was for, I'm none the wiser.

0:27:160:27:21

The next day, Mr Desmond

wrote me a letter.

0:27:210:27:24

"Dear Mr Daly, are you

a Rangers supporter?!"

0:27:240:27:27

He went on: "During my period

of majority ownership,

0:27:270:27:32

ExecuJet was tax and regulatory

compliant in all the various

0:27:320:27:35

jurisdictions it operated in,

nor was it under any investigation.

0:27:350:27:39

There are good operational reasons

for having a presence in the Isle

0:27:390:27:42

of Man, and many international

companies do so".

0:27:420:27:45

Appleby told the BBC it had

"thoroughly and vigorously"

0:27:450:27:47

investigated the allegations,

and they were "satisified that there

0:27:470:27:53

is no evidence of any wrongdoing",

either on the part of "ourselves

0:27:530:27:55

or our clients".

0:27:550:28:02

The Paradise Papers have given us

an insight into the secret world

0:28:020:28:04

of the rich and powerful.

0:28:040:28:10

And we've learned many of them

do not appreciate the scrutiny.

0:28:100:28:15

Tax loopholes will close,

and regulations will tighten.

0:28:150:28:17

But firms like Appleby

are paid million to find the gaps.

0:28:170:28:24

The impact of this story

is being felt across the globe.

0:28:240:28:26

But the offshore world continues

to turn, and much of what goes

0:28:260:28:31

on remains shrouded in secrecy.

0:28:310:28:32

Until, perhaps, the next big leak.

0:28:320:28:42