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Former EU commissioner Neelie Kroes fails to declare directorship of offshore firm

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Former EU commissioner Neelie Kroes fails to declare directorship of offshore firm

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A fresh leak of tax haven data has named former European commissioner Neelie Kroes as having failed to declare her directorship of an offshore firm in the Bahamas while in office.

The information is contained in list of directors and shareholders at 176,000 companies and trusts given to German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Neelie Kroes was an EU commissioner from 2004 until 2014 and was forbidden by the commissioners’ code of conduct to hold any outside directorships while in the role. Kroes however admits not declaring her connection to the Bahamas firm was an oversight as she thought the company had been liquidated two years before becoming a commissioner.

The UK’s Home Secretary Amber Rudd has also been named as having been a director of two Bahamas firms.
Though there is no suggestion she was involved in any wrongdoing, the disclosures may cause her some embarrassment, particularly as pressure grows to crack down on tax avoidance and governments demand more transparency from offshore regimes.

The latest leaked tax haven data comes five months after the so-called Panama Papers which, via the database of a Panama-based law firm named 12 national leaders and various politicians who are known to have been using secretive offshore tax regimes.

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