“Paradise Papers”: U2 singer Bono says he’s “sickened” to be involved

The leader singer of the Irish group has reacted to media revelations linking him to a Lithuanian company that has practiced tax optimization.

Bono is one of the figures to be involved in the Paradise Papers scandal revealed on Sunday. The leader of the Irish rock band U2 has declared himself “totally disgusted” with these revelations that bind him to a Lithuanian company. According to the “Paradise Papers”, the result of the long-term investigation by members of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the Irish rocker would be a shareholder in a Maltese company that would have invested in a shopping center in Lithuania, via a Lithuanian holding company accused of resorting to illegal tax optimization techniques.

Bono said he was “totally disgusted if even as a minority investor and passive (…) his name could be involved in something a little illegal”. The singer has made his position on the subject in a statement sent to the BBC and the British newspaper The Guardian . The singer of U2 affirms in these lines “that he had obtained the assurance on the part of the directors of the company that this one totally respected his fiscal obligations”.

“In any case, I welcome these revelations,” he added, calling for a complete transparency of the registers of companies based in tax havens. “I take this business very seriously and I have always campaigned for the owners of offshore companies to be transparent.”

The “Paradise Papers” revealed complex circuits of tax optimization, often legal, involving several personalities around the world. Queen Elizabeth II is thus targeted by several of these documents, via the company that manages its property and is accused of concealing from the tax authorities a little ten million euros in assets. Similar situations for US Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, and a close relative of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Stephen Bronfman. In total, these schemes cost about 350 billion euros of tax losses per year to states around the world.

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About the Author: Amy England

Amy Is a researcher and law student at York University (TORONTO). She has worked as the Director of the Graduate Lawyering Program. She worked for American law firms in Moscow, Russia for three years. Hegraduated from Columbia Law School, Columbia School of International and Public Affairs and Harvard College. She research interest is in human rights and health law, with a particular focus on the law and policy of vaccination.

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