‘Pandora Papers’ Contain a Few Names Familiar to the Industry

MajorsOct 06, 2021

‘Pandora Papers’ Contain a Few Names Familiar to the Industry

The papers involve millions of documents leaked to a consortium of journalists that shed light on the complex world of offshore banking.

The first reports from the “Pandora Papers,” a leak of nearly 12 million documents that give insight into the world of offshore banking, came out on Sunday. ICIJ called the leak Pandora because “we think we’re opening a box on a lot of things,” ICIJ Director Gerard Ryle said.
New York—A handful of individuals connected to the diamond and jewelry industries are among those mentioned in the initial stories to emerge following the release of the “Pandora Papers” on Sunday.

Called the largest investigation in journalism history, the Pandora Papers involve nearly 12 million documents leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that shed light on the complex world of offshore banking and the rich and powerful people who benefit from it.

While offshore banking and tax havens are not illegal, the ICIJ notes, they can attract illegal activity—like money laundering and tax evasion—and obscure the vast wealth of many world leaders, some of whom head countries that are among the world’s poorest.

The jewelry industry figures who have surfaced in reports stemming from the Pandora Papers so far include Purvi Modi, sister of diamantaire Nirav Modi, who is still fighting extradition to India to face fraud charges. 

According to The Indian Express, one of the 150 media outlets involved in the investigation, Purvi set up a corporate trust in the British Virgin Islands in December 2017, a month before Nirav fled India and the banking scandal erupted.

She and another brother, Neeshal Modi, also are the beneficial owners of three BVI firms that Nirav allegedly used to launder money, the newspaper reported. 

In a statement to the Express, Purvi’s attorneys denied any wrongdoing on their client’s part.

According to The Times of Israel, diamantaire Beny Steinmetz also appears in the papers, which claim his children transferred about $1 billion to a fund in the Cook Islands at the “height of legal proceedings against him.”

The reason given for the transfer was that the family was displeased with how the fund was performing. Steinmetz did not comment on the transfer.

Denis Sassou-Nguesso, who has been president of the Republic of Congo for nearly four decades, is among the so-called Power Players included in the ICIJ’s reporting on its own website. 

ICIJ contends a complex corporate structure was created to conceal Sassou-Nguesso’s ownership of the company that controls the country’s diamond mines. 
Another African politician with diamond industry ties, former Zimbabwe Defense Secretary Martin Rushwaya, also appears in the papers.

ZimLive reported that Rushwaya set up a shell company in the Seychelles called Greatgem Corp. around the time Zimbabwe’s defense forces were working with Chinese company Anjin to mine diamonds in the troubled Marange region. Rushwaya declined to comment, ZimLive said. 

More than 600 journalists from 150 news outlets worked on investigations surrounding the leak of the Pandora Papers over the course of two years.

The project follows other ICIJ investigations that have exposed how the world’s rich and powerful are able to hide assets and, sometimes, avoid paying taxes or launder money.

“The ability to hide money has a direct impact on your life,” Lakshmi Kumar, Global Financial Integrity policy director, said in a video accompanying the release of the Pandora Papers. “It affects your child’s access to education, access to health, access to a home.”

This is not the first time a massive ICIJ investigation has included well-known figures in the jewelry industry.

The 2020 “Luanda Leaks” linked luxury brand De Grisogono to money laundering in Angola. The company filed for bankruptcy shortly after the report came out.

ICIJ said the Pandora Papers resulted from the biggest leak in its history, with 14 offshore service providers and law firms providing 2.94 terabytes of confidential information.

In an interview with Marketplace on Monday, journalist Dominic Rushe put the scope of the data leak into context, telling host Amy Scott that 2.94 terabytes is the equivalent of streaming Netflix in HD around the clock for 41 days.

For more on the Pandora Papers and to keep up with the various stories developing from the investigation, visit the ICIJ website

 Related stories will be right here … 
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

Jeffrey Post
GradingDec 11, 2023
Smithsonian’s Jeffrey Post to Receive 2023 Bonanno Award

Post is being honored for nearly four decades of contributions he made within the Department of Mineral Sciences at the museum.

Lesley Davis and Lesley Ann Jewels
IndependentsDec 11, 2023
This Houston Independent Will Close Just Before Christmas

Lesley Ann Jewels, owned and operated by Lesley Davis, opened in 2016.

Pantone color of the year 2024
TrendsDec 08, 2023
Pantone’s Color of the Year Is Warm and Fuzzy

The peachy hue also marks the program’s 25th anniversary.

De Beers | Diamonds Falling
Brought to you by
The Most Important “C” in Diamonds: Confidence!

Without the ability to instill confidence within the industry and directly to the consumer, a diamond holds very little value.

Mary Tyler Moore and Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. Bone Cuffs
AuctionsDec 08, 2023
Sotheby’s Sold All Mary Tyler Moore’s Jewelry

The 21 pieces up for auction, including Tiffany & Co. jewels and a Cartier watch, garnered more than $430,000 across two sales.

Weekly QuizDec 07, 2023
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
Inesa Kovalova’s Links pin
CollectionsDec 08, 2023
Piece of the Week: A ‘Strong & Precious’ Brooch

Centered on a sunny heliodor, the “Links” pin was designed by Ukrainian jewelry artist Inesa Kovalova.

Rough diamonds from Alrosa
Policies & IssuesDec 07, 2023
The G7’s Long-Awaited Statement on Russian Diamonds Is Here

It provides a timeline for the implementation of new restrictions, but no details.

Platinum  Guild International Diamond Rings
Brought to you by
If It’s Custom, Make It Platinum

With holiday proposals right around the corner, encourage your customers to go for platinum when making the big purchase.

24 Karat Club of New York new members
MajorsDec 07, 2023
24 Karat Club of New York Welcomes New Members

The organization has elected 12 new additions.

National Jeweler columnist Sherry Smith
ColumnistsDec 06, 2023
On Data: How Are Independents Doing So Far This Holiday Season?

Sherry Smith breaks down the numbers on jewelry sales in November and reveals the category that “emerged as a standout.”

133 carat yellow diamond
AuctionsDec 06, 2023
A Yellow Diamond, Hollywood Jewels Stand Out at Sotheby’s

Additional lots will be offered in the Fine Jewels online sale through Dec. 7.

GIA logo
GradingDec 06, 2023
GIA Debuts Revamped Graduate Jeweler Program

By mixing creative and practical skills, the new course hopes to fill the industry’s bench jeweler gap.

A 1930s gem-set and enamel ‘Maltese cross’ cuff attributed to Verdura for Chanel (left) and a loose cushion-cut Burmese sapphire weighing 11.87 carats (right) were the top lots in Bonhams New York Jewels auction this week.
AuctionsDec 06, 2023
Verdura Cuff, Burmese Sapphire Shine at Bonhams

Several other colored gemstones joined the pieces in the top 10 list.

Neil Lane lab-grown diamond engagement ring
FinancialsDec 05, 2023
Signet Jewelers’ Q3 Sales Down 12%

The retailer is still expecting a strong holiday season with improving demand for natural diamonds.

Memorial for slain jeweler Peter Damian Arguello in Wheat Ridge, Colorado
CrimeDec 05, 2023
Police Continue to Investigate Murder of Colorado Jeweler

Peter Damian Arguello, the owner of Peter Damian Fine Jewelry & Antiques, was shot and killed in an apparent robbery last week.

Tanishq store
MajorsDec 05, 2023
Tanishq Continues U.S. Expansion With 2 New Stores

The Indian jewelry giant has opened locations in Houston and Frisco, Texas.

Grandview Klein Diamonds Namibia scholarship winners
SourcingDec 05, 2023
Grandview Klein Awards Two Scholarships in Namibia

Each student was provided with the full amount of tuition for the Namibia University of Science & Technology.

De Beers Ryan Perry and David Prager
SourcingDec 04, 2023
David Prager To Leave De Beers in 2024

Ryan Perry, who has been with De Beers since 2002, also will be leaving the company next year.

Chrono24 ChronoPulse
WatchesDec 04, 2023
Chrono24 Debuts the ‘Dow Jones’ for Luxury Watches

The watch seller’s new index tracks sales data from 14 brands, including Rolex and Patek Philippe.

David Bouffard Signet Jewelers
MajorsDec 04, 2023
David Bouffard to Leave Signet, RJC

The industry veteran will step down from both roles in April 2024.

David Webb turquoise and lapis ring
TrendsDec 04, 2023
Amanda’s Style File: Decadent December

Tanzanite, turquoise, and zircon are all options for December babies, who sometimes “get the birthday shaft,” Amanda Gizzi writes.

Lightbox x Roséate Light Wand pendants
Lab-GrownDec 01, 2023
Lightbox Teams Up With Brand Founded by Former Tiffany Exec

The lab-grown diamond brand also collaborated with the website The Future Rocks on a collection launching today.

Lila Moss Calvin Klein campaign
FinancialsDec 01, 2023
Movado Lowers Guidance Again After Q3 Sales Dip

The company said it is facing a “challenging retail environment” but is prepared for the holiday season.

Muzo emerald and argyle pink diamond necklace
CollectionsDec 01, 2023
Piece of the Week: Muzo’s Emerald and Argyle Pink Diamond Necklace

It’s the hero piece of the newest "Green Jewel" collection, a collaborative offering from the two mines.

Pink Supreme Diamond
AuctionsNov 30, 2023
This Pink Diamond Reigned Supreme in Hong Kong

The 15.48-carat fancy intense “Pink Supreme” topped Christie’s fall jewelry auction in Asia, while a Patek Philippe led the watch sale.

Claire’s CFO COO Chris Cramer
MajorsNov 30, 2023
Claire’s Hires Former Bath & Body Works Exec as CFO, COO

Chris Cramer, who also spent time at Gen Z intimates brand Parade, will take on the dual role.

133 carat yellow diamond
AuctionsNov 30, 2023
Sotheby’s To Auction 133-Carat Yellow Diamond

The stone headlining the upcoming sale could fetch up to $5 million.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy