UoB Chancellor involved in Panama Papers
Lord Bilimoria has reportedly been using offshore accounts
The Panama Papers has been called history’s biggest data leak. Over 10 million files were leaked from the worlds fourth biggest law firm, Mossack Fonseca.
The files show how some of the richest among us have hidden their money in offshore tax havens – including over 10 national leaders, around 150 politicians worldwide, and even our own University chancellor.
Lord Bilimoria, who became chancellor of the uni in 2014, is a founder of Cobra beer and a crossbench peer. The Panama Papers suggest that Bilimoria has shares in Mulberry Holdings Asset Limited, a shell company in the Virgin Islands, where tax rates can be considerably lower, or even non-existent.
Despite such claims, he has described the company as dormant, and claims to be taxed on all incomes.
The leak has shown the extent of this practise, and has put the spotlight on certain individuals, including David Cameron, who’s political campaign has reportedly been funded by many of those who have been implicated in the scandal. This is despite Cameron himself criticising the use of offshore accounts in tax havens.
It is important to note that no illegal activity has been proven just yet. However it provides the perfect platform to initiate a debate to help bring change. The use of offshore shell companies allow people to avoid taxes, which technically is not illegal, but is controversial.
This practise, however, also masks the origin of financial transactions, and interestingly enough, many of the people in the leaked files are blacklisted by the US for potential links to drug trafficking and terrorism.
The University of Birmingham press office has been contacted for a statement, which the Tab is currently waiting for.