Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Very rich people, from Murdoch to Suharto,6903,1446130,00.html

Nick Mathiason, in the Observer, 27 March 2005, wrote about how the top people hide their wealth.

Rupert Murdoch, friend of Blair's Labour Party, has floated his family's £3.8 billion personal investment company in Bermuda - saving himself £522 million in taxes.

Lakshmi Mittal, the Indian-born, Labour-donor industrial magnate, is worth £13 billion and is the world's third richest man, according to Forbes. Under UK tax laws, he is exempt from paying a heavy tax bill because his primary residence is overseas.

The business empire of billionaire Philip Green is mostly held in the name of his wife, Tina, who lives in Monaco.

The Observer revealed that the world's richest people are hiding $11.5 trillion in tax havens.

The taxable income on $11.5tn could exceed $255bn.

These figures were worked out by Tax Justice Network, a collection of tax experts and economists.

Aid organisations believe that money that should be used for infrastructure is being hidden in tax havens by corrupt politicians and multinationals.


Former Indonesian dictator Suharto, who is supposed to be so mentally and physically ill that he can never be brought to trial for corruption or human rights abuses, has appeared in good health during a visit to a theme park.

Berita Kota daily said Suharto walked unaided for about 60 meters to enter a large hall at the Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park in Jakarta.

Private television network RCTI broadcast footage of a smiling Suharto (83) walking with a cane while accompanied by his three daughters.

After 'shaking hands, chatting animatedly and laughing with other guests', Suharto unveiled a statue of his wife. He later strolled across some of the bridges in the park.

When the park was built in 1971, there were big student protests, as poor people were evicted from their land to make way for the $25 million project. The military opened fire on the demonstrators, injuring at least four of them.

Germany-based anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International has ranked Suharto as the world's most corrupt politician over the past two decades, claiming that his family amassed between $15 billion and $35 billion.

Rights activists say he was also one of the world’s most brutal dictators; after he was put into power, the CIA reportedly gave the Indonesian authorities the names of people to be murdered; up to 1 million people were slaughtered by right wing forces.

It has been claimed that Suharto was put into power by the CIA and its friends and removed from power by the CIA and its friends.

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