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Former Barcelona mayor denies tax haven allegations

According to media reports made public on Sunday connecting him to 'Paradise Papers' scandal, Xavier Trias has money invested in offshore tax haven

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06 November 2017 12:56 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The former mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, denied allegations of having an over-sized family company based in the Virgin Islands, after La Sexta and El Confidencial published a report implicating him in the global ‘Paradise Papers’ scandal.

“I have never had any relationship with any account or financial product abroad,” argued Trias. “I have never had money abroad, I have never had knowledge or participated in financial operations linked to my family.”

Fiscal paradise

According to the reports released by Spanish TV channel La Sexta and newspaper El Confidencial, Trias has an offshore company based in the Virgin Islands, known for being a tax haven, in order to manage his father’s inheritance, along with his eleven brothers and one nephew.

The Paradise Papers, made public on Sunday, document the tax haven secrets of the ultra-rich around the world, indicate that Trias’ father was the owner of an important pharmaceutical company. According to reports, Trias would have benefited from so-called ‘Trust’ companies that manage asset transfers in order to divert money abroad.

  • "I have never had money abroad"

    Xavier Trias · Former mayor of Barcelona

Appearing in a TV interview on Sunday, Trias said he had no idea about the information regarding his ties to the Paradise Papers, stating that La Sexta’s journalist interviewed him with “an accusatory tone.” He emphasized that he has never dealt with the finances of his parents or brothers.

His family will launch an investigation, he said, in order to clarify the information presented by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. His lawyer will look into the documents that make up part of the Paradise Papers in order “to verify them.” Trias said he believed the results would prove the information as false.

"It is not the first time I have received accusations that put my honesty in doubt, and later they have been proven to be false," Trias said on Twitter. "I am sure this will be the case once more."

International scandal

The report, similar to the Panama Papers of 2016 which revealed cases of celebrities and business executives who moved a large portion of their wealth to offshore tax havens, is based on more than 13.4 million documents dating from 1950 to 2016.

Repercussions of this latest financial scandal are being felt worldwide, as the fiscal secrets of the world’s ultra-rich are exposed.

Even the Queen of the United Kingdom is implicated. According to the papers, the Queen’s private estate secretly invests huge amounts of money in offshore tax havens. Donald Trump’s secretary of commerce, the prime minister of Canada Justin Trudeau’s fundraiser, and U2 frontman Bono have also been linked to the documents. 

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  • Former mayor of Barcelona and president of PDeCAT Xavier Trias in October (by ACN)