tv BBC News BBC News November 5, 2017 10:00pm-10:31pm GMT
revealed in a huge leak of confidential information. millions of documents show how money from individuals and companies ended up in offshore tax havens — we have a special investigation. among the revelations — it's emerged around £10 million of the queen's private money was invested offshore by the duchy of lancaster. was invested offshore and president trump's commerce secretary, wilbur ross, has interests in a shipping company with links to a russian energy firm. we'll bring you more details from the millions of documents leaked — and be taking a closer look at the world of tax havens. and be taking a closer look and tonight's other major developing story... in the us, at least 20 people are reported to have been killed in a shooting at a church in texas. are reported to have been killed cabinet minister damian green describes claims that police found pornography on his computer in 2008 as "political smears". and president trump begins a marathon tour of asia — by addressing us troops based injapan good evening.
a huge leak of secret offshore investments has revealed the tax affairs of rich and powerful people around the world. the details are contained in millions of documents from a law firm which specialises in offshore arrangements for individuals and companies — in tax havens around the world. they've been dubbed the paradise papers — they were obtained by the german newspaper su—deutsche zeitung and shared with the international consortium of investigativejournalists — including the bbc‘s panorama programme. including the bbc‘s among the names revealed is the duchy of lancaster, which manages the queen's private estate, and which invested £10 million offshore. estate, and which invested bbc panorama's richard bilton reports.
it is an island paradise but there is a lot more to bermuda than just beaches and the sun. but there is a lot more to bermuda it is a tax haven, secrecy and 0% tax rates. one of the world's biggest offshore companies, appleby, is based here. seven million documents have been leaked. for months, we had to carry out secret research. that's the head office. out secret research. we have to be very careful at this stage of the investigation. appleby don't know that we have their data. but now we can report what goes on here. the leak is known as the paradise papers. it contains some of the biggest names in britain. like the queen's private estate. the biggest names in britain. the queen's investments are handled by the duchy of lancaster. now, because of the files,
we can see where some of the money was going. we can see where some £10 million was invested in tax havens, with $7.5 million in one fund in the cayman islands. havens, with $7.5 million in one it is perfectly legal and there is no suggestion tax was being avoided but should the monarch's cash be going offshore? should the monarch's if the money has been invested in a tax haven, i would have thought it would be extremely embarrassing for the queen and the royal family. it would be extremely embarrassing we expect higher standards of the queen in terms of where the investments are located. of the queen in terms of where the duchy told us: of the queen in terms of where the paradise papers also expose a new link between president trump's government and the russians. you know who that is, right? and the russians. it's wilbur ross, president trump's commerce secretary. this is in gennady timchenko, the sanctioned friend
of president putin. the sanctioned friend we have found that these two men have a business link. wilbur ross said that he cut ties with companies that could compromise his new role in the us government. your service has resulted in your divesting yourself of literally hundreds of millions of dollars. you did it to avoid any conflict of interest, correct? that is correct. of interest, correct? we don't think that is correct. of interest, correct? we have discovered mr ross has a stake in a shipping company called navigator holdings. a stake in a shipping company one of its major clients is sibur, a russian energy company. gennady timchenko is a shareholder who was sanctioned by the us government in 2014. who was sanctioned by the us you don't want to get known as somebody who plays footsy or walks up to the line with sanctioned individuals.
if you know anything about the russians it's that under the current system, it's easy to get dirty. don't go there, man, don't go there. it's easy to get dirty. mr ross told us that none of the funds he managed ever owned a majority of navigator's shares and he never met timchenko. there are revelations closer to home. i, michael, lord ashcroft, do swear by almighty god. lord ashcroft was the tory deputy chairman and gave millions to the party but what we found in the files could leave him facing a tax bill of tens of millions. in the files could leave him facing a series of payments totalling around $200 million were made to him from a trust in bermuda. around $200 million were made to him to avoid tax on those payments, the trust, called punta gorda, must act independently, if lord ashcroft avoided the rules, he could face a big bill
from the taxman. e—mails seen by us suggest a rising sense of frustration from the trustees that lord ashcroft was not playing by the rules. it looks like lord ashcroft was controlling the trust and expecting trustees to rubber—stamp his decisions. i'm richard bilton, i work for panorama. he didn't answer written questions, so i caught up with him at the tory conference. so i caught up with him did you have tens of millions in an offshore trust that you secretly controlled? in an offshore trust that did that mean you could avoid millions in tax? why don't you talk to me, it would be great to hear your view. it was the punta gorda trust. it would be great to hear your view. his lawyers later said that i had started shouting something at him
by which time lord ashcroft had walked away and heard nothing of what i said. walked away and heard we've done about a mile and a half, we could have been sponsored. despite the questions, lord ashcroft wouldn't give us his side. i'm not going to follow you in there, sir. about the leak, appleby said it does not specialise in tax, that these are commercial and sensitive documents relating to appleby and its clients. and sensitive documents relating these are the first names from the paradise papers but there are more to come from this extraordinary leak. let's get more on this now from our royal correspondent nicholas witchell, who's at buckingham palace. what's the view of the palace about the queen's name appearing in these documents? about the queen's name appearing the
about the queen's name appearing palace is being think the palace is being tight—lipped. i think that would be a fair characterisation of its position at the moment. a republican pressure group has been quick to say there should be greater transparency about all the queen's finances. this is embarrassing for her, no question. it is the association with an area of investment activity that most people would view as doubtful, many people would view as doubtful, many people would view as doubtful, many people would think that this investor should never have been taken into investor should never have been ta ken into by investor should never have been taken into by her advisers. it's important to say that there is no question of tax avoidance in this instance. the duchy of lancaster is exempt from uk tax. the queen pays voluntarily the equivalent of income tax on her personal income from the duchy, which amounted to more than £19 million last year. but it is, unquestionably, embarrassing for her. thank you.
as revealed in the paradise papers, the operation of tax havens around the world is complex and shrouded in secrecy. they offer low tax rates — and methods of regulation which are attractive to wealthy individuals and companies. 0ur economics editor, kamal ahmed, takes a closer look now at the system, and the part the uk plays in it. for centuries, britain has been a centre for global finance, focused here on the city of london — and that's seen by many as good for our economy and the development of global trade. to support that, we allowed companies to set up in the uk and not be taxed here. companies to set up in the uk 0ur imperial past is also important. companies to set up in the uk across the world, the what are called crown dependencies, or 0verseas territories, places like jersey and guernsey and the isle of man, which have an arm's length relationship with us, and have based their economy on low tax offers to companies and individuals to hold some of their wealth there. and individuals to hold some others are more far—flung — places like gibraltar,
as well as bermuda, the british virgin islands, the cayman islands, and turks and caicos. such places insist they are good for growth if they allow firms and individuals to avoid being taxed multiple times by different countries. multiple times by there have been a lot of new rules on transparency as well, but they are criticised for being too secret, too weak on regulation, and too open to corruption. critics say the laws have also failed to keep up with global companies, which can move vast amounts of money around the world at a touch of a computer key. we are not the only ones who've used tax competition and light—touch regulation to lure companies to our shores. other countries that have been criticised include switzerland, singapore and america, which has low tax systems in many of its states. which has low tax systems
there is also an important distinction to remember when speaking about tax havens. distinction to remember tax evasion is illegal, while tax avoidance is using legal structures to reduce tax levels. while tax avoidance is using legal how much could tax avoidance be worth to national exchequers like the treasury? be worth to national well, globally, anything between £75 billion and £180 billion. many now believe that avoidance has become so controversial there needs to be a complete change to global tax laws so that taxes are paid in the country where the firm or the individual is based. that would mean the total tax take would go up, which some might disagree with, but public controversy would probably die down. but public controversy kamal ahmed there on tax havens. but public controversy there's more analysis and detail from the paradise papers on the bbc news website, if you search bbc.co.uk forward
slash paradise papers. if you search bbc.co.uk forward and there'll be fresh revelations tomorrow night on bbc panorama, here on bbc one at 9.00. tomorrow night on bbc panorama, at least 20 people have been killed and dozens injured in a shooting in texas, according to the authorities there. a gunman opened fire at a church in sutherland springs, near san antonio. in sutherland springs, he's believed to have been killed. in sutherland springs, 0ur north america correspondent james cook has the latest. mid—morning james cook has the latest. on a sunday, and like millions mid—morning on a sunday, and like millions of americans, the people of sutherland springs were at worship. in the first baptist church, the serenity was shattered when a man opened fire at a service normally attended by around 50 people. the church pastor's14—year—old daughter is reportedly among the dead. 0ne witness described how she took shelter when the shooting began. i'm
about 50 yards away. there's a row of houses. we went running outside when we heard the shots, and we looked at each other and said, i'm not going to be outside for bullets to fly, because we had ricochets. so we went back into the store, where we went back into the store, where we had a couple customers. and then the owner decided to go ahead and close the store. a short time after the shooting, the local sheriff said the shooting, the local sheriff said the gunmen was down, reportedly after a search or pursuit. as the news spread, the united states embraced the familiar ritual, with public figures focusing on the need for prayer. donald trump, on a tour of asia, tweeted, may god be with the people of sutherland springs, texas. the fbi and law enforcement are on the scene. this latest mass shooting comes a month after a gunmen opened fire in las vegas,
killing 58 people, and two years after a white supremacist shot dead nine ina after a white supremacist shot dead nine in a church in south carolina. now the tiny community of sutherland springs adds its name to the roll call of mass shootings. the cabinet minister damian green is to face a whitehall inquiry tomorrow into his conduct — but has denied new claims that police found pornography on a computer in his office nine years ago. on a computer in his office mr green remains at loggerheads with the former police chief bob quick who made the allegations, saying they were "completely untrue" and a "political smear". saying they were "completely untrue" mr quick said he stood by his claims, and that he would take part in the inquiry. claims, and that he would take 0ur political correspondent iain watson reports. he is one of theresa may's most senior and most trusted ministers, but damian green's reputation is under threat. he's already being investigated by whitehall officials over allegations he acted improperly towards a young journalist, claims he denies. towards a young journalist, and now, an allegation that pornography was found on a computer in his house of commons office nearly ten years ago. this claim dates from 2008,
when his office was raided by police, investigating leaks from the home office. these two have never seen eye to eye since then. bob quick was the man in charge of that investigation, and the main, though not the only source, alleging that pornographic material was found. alleging that pornographic there's no suggestion that any of the material was illegal. damian green is a staunch ally of the prime minister, and her close friend, her deputy in all but name. and he's hugely influential behind—the—scenes here in downing street, during important cabinet committees, not least on brexit. cabinet committees, he is notjust fighting for his reputation, he is battling hard for his political life. for his reputation, he is battling so, in a robust statement, damian green said: and bob quick‘s successor at the metropolitan police has told
the bbc he had no knowledge of the pornography allegations. but bob quick says he stands by his story and will present evidence to the whitehall enquiry into damian green tomorrow. this conservative mp believes that's the correct process, and allegations from a confidential police investigation should never have been made public. police investigation should never what we're having in relation to damian, who i said should have been suspended, so there was a proper enquiry, this would have formed part of that enquiry. instead, we are pretty much having trial by the newspapers, and this is not acceptable. trial by the newspapers, and now the conservative mp chris pincher has stepped aside as a government whip and has referred himself to his party's complaints procedure and to the police. himself to his party's complaints this follows allegations of improper behaviour 16 years ago. party leaders will meet tomorrow to discuss more effective ways of dealing with harassment. to discuss more effective ways of but this won't be enough to stop the flow of further allegations.
to stop the flow of iain watson, bbc news, westminster. to stop the flow of the deposed leader of catalonia and four of his ministers have surrendered to police in brussels. and four of his ministers have carles puigdemont and the others fled to belgium when the spanish government took direct control of catalonia. warrants for their arrest were issued on friday — they've been charged with rebellion and sedition. gavin lee reports. with rebellion and sedition. under arrest and in custody. with rebellion and sedition. carles puigdemont driven to court in brussels this morning. after a week in self—imposed exile, the set catalan leader handed himself into belgian authorities. the set catalan leader handed he now awaits his fate along with control other ex—ministers. the five persons that have been sought by the spanish authorities presented themselves at the federal police of brussels. spain want him extradited there to face charges of sedition and rebellion for illegally declaring catalan independence. in barcelona, the response on the streets came in the form of another demonstration.
on the streets came in the form several thousand gathered, covering the city walls with posters of protest. covering the city walls we are asking for freedom for political prisoners that are the government of catalonian. for political prisoners that a senior spanish judge tells me he disagrees with claims that carles puigdemont would face an unfair trial in madrid. the system could be slowed but not unfair. in general, ourjudges are radical independents. they're very independent. are radical independents. just over a week ago, separatist ministers were celebrating after voting illegally for unilateral independence for catalonia here at the catalan parliament. but now, eight of those ministers are in prison here in spain. carles puigdemont, the former leader, and four other ministers, are fighting extradition too and that could be a long process. but with just six weeks until new elections here, time is short, to return
a turbulent catalonia to a functioning democracy. a turbulent catalonia the heir to the throne in saudi arabia has carried out a major purge of the kingdom's political and business leadership. a new anti—corruption body, headed by crown prince mohammed bin salman, detained 11 princes, four sitting ministers, and dozens of ex—ministers. four sitting ministers, the kingdom's information ministry said the bank accounts of those arrested would be frozen. said the bank accounts of those president trump has begun a tour of asia with a thinly—veiled warning to north korea that "no dictator" should underestimate american resolve. should underestimate mr trump made the comments as he arrived injapan — where he addressed us and japanese troops, vowing to defend freedom. 0ur correspondent rupert wingfield—hayes was there. under bright, sunny skies, air force one touched down at the yokota air base, just outside tokyo. with a military band playing hail
to the chief and a stage flanked by fighter jets, president trump was given a rock—star welcome by 2,000 us troops stationed here injapan. and then, he got to don a military jacket. president trump could have landed at tokyo airport and been met by prime minister shinzo abe. at tokyo airport and been met it is significant that instead, for his first stop on his asian tour, he has chosen to land here, at a us military base, and to address us military personnel. at a us military base, and to a lot of stuff coming... at a us military base, and to when he spoke it was of america's overwhelming military might, and — without naming the country directly — this veiled threat to north korea's dictator, kim jong—un. no one, no dictator, no regime and no nation, should underestimate, ever, american resolve. every once in a while in the past,
they underestimated us. it was not pleasant for them, was it?. minutes later, marine 0ne whisked the president to another of his favourite places — a golf course. there waiting to welcome him, prime minister shinzo abe. mr abe has deliberately cast himself as donald trump's number one friend in asia, and today he got his payoff. president trump lavished praise on him and japan, calling it a treasured partner and crucial ally. on monday, the us president will fulfil another long—held ambition — an official welcome from japan's emperor. rupert wingfield—hayes, bbc news, in tokyo. let's go back to one of our
developing stories tonight. the shooting at a church in texas. america tonight is dealing with yet another multiple shooting. these killings are happening with terrible regularity. a multiple shooting is defined as where four or more people are killed. there were three of them yesterday in america. there were four on friday. in october there we re four on friday. in october there were 28, and the month began with that massacre in las vegas, the deadliest shooting in modern—day american history. the national conversation about las vegas lasted about a week, and thereafter people unconnected with the killings really stop talking about it. tonight a familiar political response, with democrats calling for tighter gun laws, and republicans are saying the victims need to be held in our thoughts and prayers. this is one of the great fault lines in american
life. there is terror track behind me in new york earlier this week, almost immediately afterwards, donald trump was talking about tighter immigration laws, but no talk tonight of tighter gun laws. with this alter the gun debate in america? almost certainly not. these modern—day mass shootings never do. thank you. you can see more on all of today's stories on the bbc news channel. that's all from me. stories on the bbc news channel. stay with us on bbc one — it's time for the news where you are. pa rt part two of the weekend will be drier and brighter for many part two of the weekend will be drier and brighterfor many of part two of the weekend will be drier and brighter for many of us apart from a few showers. it will be apart from a few showers. it will be a cold bonfire night for most but at least dry. 0vernight the temperatures falling away under the clear skies. you can see the blue hue. by dawn, temperatures in the countryside, —1, —2 for many but up
to —6 for some along with some mist and fog. starting monday on a cold note across parts of england and wales. a change taking place across the north and west as a weather front comes in with increasing cloud and rain and wind. some cloud by the afternoon will reach the south—west of england and parts of wales, some light rain and temperatures slowly lifting to 11 or 12. in the east, dry with sunny spells through the day but quite cold. north—west england into scotland and northern ireland, a lot of cloud by the afternoon, the rain piling up across the north and west of scotland. getting heavier and the wind stronger too. mild air will continue to push ahead of the rain as it slowly tru ndles to push ahead of the rain as it slowly trundles east during monday night. a bit of snow over the high ground of scotland. temperatures, a
much milder night compared to previously. turning colder across the far north—west. the mild air is ferried brief because more cold air moving in behind that weather front -- is moving in behind that weather front —— is very brief. the weather front is on tuesday, which is very wet from any central and southern and eastern areas, quite windy. the rain clearing away, hanging around in the south—east but plenty of sunshine and scattered showers elsewhere. turning colder here, milder with the rain. the weather front eventually moves away. high pressure building on wednesday for the next weather front on thursday. quite a flip—flop week. wednesday looking dryad, brighter, cold, a frosty start. thursday, more cloud and if you showers. —— a few showers. this is bbc news.
we'll be taking a look at tomorrow morning's papers in a moment — first the headlines at 10.30pm. at least 20 people have been killed after a gunman opened fire at a baptist church in texas. the attack happened in the small town of sutherland springs, in wilson county, around 50 people were thought to be at the service at the time. a huge new leak of financial documents — known as the paradise papers — has revealed how the powerful and wealthy secretly invest vast amounts of money in offshore tax havens. the bbc panorama programme has discovered that millions of pounds of the queen's private money is invested in offshore funds based in the cayman islands and bermuda by her private estate, the duchy of lancaster. cabinet minister damian green describes claims that police found pornography on his computer in 2008 as "political smears". 0n meet the author this week, my
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