Bono issued a statement on Monday in which he said he was “extremely distressed” by revelations in the so-called Paradise Papers which indicate that he’s an investor in a Lithuanian shopping mall that dodged taxes.
U2 front man Bono apparently owns a small stake in a Maltese company that bought the mall in 2007 through a Lithuanian subsidiary which is now under investigation for tax avoidance.
Bono’s statement came after revelations in the leaked Paradise Papers also included holdings owned by Queen Elizabeth and the stars of the popular British sitcom Mrs. Brown’s Boys.
“I would be extremely distressed if, even as a passive minority investor in the UAB2 in Lithuania, anything less than exemplary was done with my name anywhere near it,” Bono said in his statement.
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“I’ve been assured by those running the company that it is fully tax compliant, but if that is not the case I want to know as much as the tax office does, and so I also welcome the audit they have said they will undertake. I take this stuff very seriously.
“I have campaigned for the beneficial ownership of offshore companies to be made transparent. Indeed, this is why my name is on documents rather than in a trust. The fact is I welcome this reporting. It shouldn’t take leaks to understand what’s going on where.”
The International Consortium of Journalists published some 13.4 million secret documents, nicknamed the Paradise Papers, which reveal almost €500 billion worth of tax avoidance harbored in tax haven countries.