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Duchess of York named in Panama Papers scandal

The latest name to be embroiled into the Panama Papers scandal is Prince Andrew’s former wife Sarah, Duchess of York who had business interests based in the British Virgin Island according to leaked documents.

Sarah Ferguson was confused in 2001 over who it was managing her business interests in the Caribbean island, according to letters leaked beteeen her solicitor and secretive law firm Mossack Fonseca.

Ms Ferguson is currently in Australia, however, a spokesperson has said that she always discloses all sources of income in her tax returns.

They said in full: “Essar Company Inc was formed by the partners who were to develop he business opportunities with the Duchess. Had any of the intellectual property generating income or gains or other profits, it would have been disclosed by the Duchess as part of her normal tax filings.”

The business in question, Essar Company Inc, was managed by a company in Geneva, however, the lawyers for the Duchess contacted Mossack Fonseca to ask how the company was structured.

Since her divorce from Prince Andrew in 1996, the Duchess has had major money problems and almost had to declare bankruptcy after the collapse of her lifestyle company, Hartmoor which lost her £3.2 million.

The Panama Papers are a leak of confidential documents which reveal how the rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth.

The papers were published after more than eleven million documents were leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, one of the world’s most secretive companies.

The information, from an anonymous source, documents how Mossack Fonseca has helped its clients to launder money, as well as dodge sanctions and evade tax.

Mossack Fonseca stress that they have operated beyond reproach for 40 years, and have never been criminally charged with any offence.

Other high profile names who are mentioned in the leaked documents include Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, the former Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and the King of Spain’s Aunt, Infanta Pilar de Borbon.

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