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100 of UK's richest people concealing billions in offshore tax havens

Global investigation gets under way as HM Revenue and Customs acts on leaked data

Rupert Neate and James Ball
The Guardian, Thursday 9 May 2013 16.17 EDT

More than 100 of Britain's richest people have been caught hiding billions of pounds in secretive offshore havens, sparking an unprecedented global tax evasion investigation.

George Osborne, the chancellor, warned the alleged tax evaders, and a further 200 accountants and advisers accused of helping them cheat the taxman: "The message is simple: if you evade tax, we're coming after you."

HM Revenue & Customs warned those involved, who were named in offshore data first offered to the authorities by a whistleblower in 2009, that they will face "criminal prosecution or significant penalties" if they do not voluntarily disclose their tax irregularities, as the UK steps up its efforts to clamp down on avoidance ahead of the G8 summit in June.

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