CANTABULOUS: The shady offshore assets of high profile Cantabs

Cobra Beer owner and former Vice President of the Cambridge Union, Lord Bilimoria, is amongst famous Cantabs caught up in Panama Papers Scandal.

caius may ball Cambridge cobra beer money laundering panama papers Scandal tax avoidance

The Panama Papers leak has left several Cantabs, including owner of Cobra beer and Chancellor of The University of Birmingham Lord Bilimoria, in hot water. 

Helping its clients dodge tax, launder money and avoid sanctions, Panamanian offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca’s activities have been devastatingly exposed after an enormous eleven million documents were leaked to newspapers.

Cambridge is not spared and the leak connects the now notorious law firm with Lord Bilimoria, an alumnus of Sidney Sussex who chairs the Cambridge Judge Business School’s Advisory Board and works closely with the University’s Vice Chancellor on matters relating to India.

Further high profile alumni Michael Mates and Howard Flight also had involvement in the scandal.

Bilimoria’s profile on the Judge Business School website.

Whilst none of these alumni were directly involved in tax avoidance, they each had shares in companies involved with Mossack Fonseca, casting a shadow over their reputations.

Lord Bilimoria was one of over 100 share holders in a company called “Mulberry Holdings Assets Limited”.

A former Vice President of the Cambridge Union, his company Cobra Beer has sponsored many events at Cambridge including the upcoming Caius May Ball, as well as the recent Union Spring and Freshers’ Balls.

Batting away criticism, however, Bilimoria expressed that “I am taxed in the UK on all my global income and all of my interests are declared to the relevant authorities.”

Union Spring Ball 2016

It seems Lord Bilimoria has investments in many places… including pretentiously named May Balls

Similarly with Michael Mates, an ex-Kings choral scholar and former MP for East Hampshire, his involvement was not technically illegal yet his name is heavily involved through his position as a shareholder of Haylandale, which leased land on the island of Barbuda in the Caribbean.

Magdelene alumnus and Tory Peer, Howard Flight’s name has also arisen in the scandal with his Guinness Flight asset management business using Mossack Fonesca companies to manage investments for his clients.

Let’s hope this scandal doesn’t send all their careers down the Pan (ama).