Emma Watson at her address to the United Nations.
Emma Watson at her address to the United Nations.

Actor Emma Watson named in Panama Papers scandal

EMMA Watson has been named in a database containing details of the Panama Papers leak.

The Harry Potter actress's name was found by The Spectator in a searchable database containing more details about the Panama Papers tax avoidance scandal.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) published data on more than 200,000 entities on its website on Monday evening. The database contains information on companies, trusts and foundations and users can see networks involving the offshore companies.

Watson's spokesperson confirmed the 26-year-old had set up an offshore company. However, the spokesperson said she does not receive any tax or monetary advantages whatsoever. Instead, the spokesperson said she uses it for privacy purposes.

"Emma (like many high profile individuals) set up an offshore company for the sole purpose of protecting her anonymity and safety," her spokesperson said in a statement.

"UK companies are required to publicly publish details of their shareholders and therefore do not give her the necessary anonymity required to protect her personal safety, which has been jeopardised in the past owing to such information being publicly available.

"Offshore companies do not publish these shareholder details. Emma receives absolutely no tax or monetary advantages from this offshore company whatsoever - only privacy."

Setting up an offshore company is not by itself illegal or evidence of illegal conduct. The Panama Papers were taken from law firm Mossack Fonseca, which maintains it observed rules requiring it to identify its clients.

A number of past and present world leaders were named in the first leak as having offshore holdings. The database is the largest ever trove of data about offshore companies to be made publicly available.

The database does not include anything that could compromise the privacy of individuals named such as records of bank accounts or email exchanges.



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