The three renowned Mexican millionaires sprinkled by Pandora Papers

The three renowned Mexican millionaires sprinkled by Pandora Papers

Three well-known millionaires, whose fortunes total 30,000 million dollars, are among more than 3,000 mexicans who have allegedly hidden properties in tax havens to avoid paying taxes in their country, according to a journalistic investigation revealed this Sunday.

They are Germán Larrea, María Asunción Aramburuzabala and Olegario Vázquez Aldir, said the newspaper El País of Spain, which participated in the Pandora Papers, a global investigation coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Larrea owns the largest mining company in Mexico, While Aramburuzabala is the heir to the brewery Model and Vázquez Aldir lead the Angeles Business Group.

According to the report, only 25 of the thousands of Mexicans identified in the investigation moved some 1,270 million dollars to “offshore” jurisdictions, to purchase luxury goods.

These properties are listed in the name of financial services companies, which often sell them to similar companies to apparently conceal the identity of the real owner.

Larrea, 67, “used this scheme to buy several residences in some of the most exclusive areas of the United States with a combined value of 36.9 million dollars,” said El País based on the largest leak that has been published on documents confidential financials.

To do this, between 2013 and 2016 he opened nine companies in the British Virgin Islands, in which he appears as the sole shareholder and director, but which lacked employees, offices or economic activity. Those firms, in turn, controlled other US companies that were in charge of acquiring the houses, El País explained.

According to a report by the Tax Justice Project, cited by the newspaper, Mexico loses more than 8.250 million dollars each year in taxes due to the abuse of “offshore” jurisdictions.

Aramburuzabala, 58 years old and with the sixth largest fortune in Mexico (5.8 billion dollars), also resorted to this practice to acquire a farm and land in a ski destination in Utah (USA) in 2006 and 2008, an apartment in Nueva York in 2019 and two planes in 2014 and 2019, the post added.

Grupo Modelo was sold in 2013 to the Belgian consortium AB InBev, the world’s largest beer manufacturer, but the investigation does not link this operation to offshore operations.

According to the newspaper, neither Larrea nor Aramburuzabala responded to their questions.

El País points out, meanwhile, that Vázquez Aldir opened eight opaque companies in the Virgin Islands between 2010 and 2011.

His operations included the purchase of a plane, yachts and real estate, he added. The businessman denied any tax irregularities through a lawyer.

Figures from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), cited in the report, indicate that the richest 1% of Mexicans account for 29% of the country’s income and the 50 largest companies represent around 40% of the country’s income. GDP.

Melissa Galbraith
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