Northern Ireland news

U2 frontman Bono 'extremely distressed' by leaked Paradise Papers

U2 frontman Bono said he is 'extremely distressed' by Paradise Papers revelation. Picture by Anthony Devlin, Press Association

IRISH rocker Bono has said he is "extremely distressed" to find he had invested in a Lithuanian shopping centre which may have broken tax rules.

The U2 frontman said he had been "assured by those running the company that it is fully tax compliant".

The millionaire singer, real name Paul Hewson, was among the high profile figures named in the Paradise Papers leak.

The leaked documents revealed he had invested in the Maltese company Nude Estates to buy a stake in the Ausra Mall in the town of Utena. He ploughed £5.1m into the shopping centre shortly after it opened in 2007.

The enterprise is now under investigation for possible tax avoidance after it allegedly avoided paying £41,500 in local taxes using an unlawful accounting technique.

U2, well known for its poverty-fighting efforts, has faced criticism in the past over its tax arrangements.

In a statement following the leak, the singer said: "I would be extremely distressed if, even as a passive minority investor in UAB2 in Lithuania, anything less than exemplary was done with my name anywhere near it.

"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.

"There should be public registries so that the press and public can see what governments, like Guernsey, already know."

Meanwhile, the leaked papers also reveal British royal Prince Charles lobbied for a change to two climate change deals after investing in a offshore carbon credit trading company.

The Duchy of Cornwall paid 113,500 dollars (£58,000) in 2007 for 50 shares in the Bermuda-registered Sustainable Forestry Management Ltd (SFM) in 2007.

Following the purchase, Charles lobbied for a change to two climate change deals that would have directly benefited the business, the BBC and the Guardian reported.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for Clarence House denied that Charles had spoken out on the two deals in order to benefit financially.

"The Prince has never chosen to speak out on a topic simply because of a company that The Duchy may have invested in," he said.

"In the case of climate change his views are well-known, indeed he has been warning of the threat of global warming to our environment for over 30 years."

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access

Northern Ireland news

Today's horoscope

Horoscope


See a different horoscope: