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What next from the Paradise Papers?

Manx company strongly refutes any wrongdoing

The Isle of Man’s position after a major leak which sheds light on offshore investments is set to be revealed in more detail later (Monday).

Last night’s first in a two-part BBC Panorama programme showed footage of the Island as the presenter referred to the ‘Island that changed the law to help tax dodgers’.

It also showed a journalist questioning the now retired chief executive of the former Insurance and Pensions Authority, David Vick, who can be heard saying ‘no comment’.

The former chief executive of the Isle of Man Insurance and Pensions Authority was awarded an MBE in 2015 for services to the Island's insurance and pensions industry.

In addition, the programme links a Manx company to a deal in which a Russian tycoon bought a stake in Everton Football Club, citing a conflict of interest.

However, allegations of wrongdoing have been strongly denied by the local firm’s legal team.

Farhad Moshiri bought nearly 50 per cent of the Merseyside club, that deal administered by Isle of Man company Bridgewaters Limited which has links to oligarch Alisher Usmanov who owns 30 per cent of Arsenal.

Bridgewater has disputed many of the points in the programme and denies it is owned or controlled by Mr Usmanov, as does he.

It also believes many of the documents, if genuine, have been misinterpreted, and that false conclusions have been drawn from them.

The leak, dubbed the Paradise Papers, contains more than 13 million documents, mostly from one leading firm in offshore finance.

Chief Minister Howard Quayle, who was interviewed for the programme, insists the Isle of Man cannot be considered a tax haven as it is well regulated and fully conforms to international financial rules.

Tonight’s second part of the programme is expected to focus far more on the Isle of Man amid allegations of VAT abuse.

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