One of the least-examined professions in foreign diplomacy is that of “honorary consul,” according to the ICIJ’s (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) recent research into Shadow Diplomats.
ICIJ and its media partners have been working for months to document the patterns of abuse carried out by thousands of dishonest honorary consuls around the world. The major international news stories and debates of the year are connected to a few of the cases.
In a recently released report, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and ProPublica revealed how, under President Vladimir Putin, Russia has developed a devoted network of volunteer diplomats to further the Kremlin’s political agenda abroad.
The Shadow Diplomats team found honorary consuls designated by Russia who have served in at least 45 countries, representing a who’s who of power brokers and oligarchs, despite the fact that Russia does not publish lists of its honorary consuls.
Some of them have backed some of Putin’s most divisive military and political initiatives, such the invasion of Ukraine in February. Others have participated in a plan to sway public opinion in favour of the Kremlin and gradually undermine pro-Western administrations, particularly in European nations that are susceptible to influence.
According to our information, Russia appointed honorary consuls to serve in Montenegro, North Macedonia, the United States, and other countries. These consuls engaged in covert activities.
The Impact of Shadow Diplomats
As officials admitted they were unaware of how many honorary consuls they had appointed or whether any of them had been convicted of egregious crimes, authorities around the world opened investigations and advocated changes to their honorary consul systems.
In other TAX News….
ROLLBACK OF CORPORATE TRANSPARENCY
Following a historic decision by Europe’s top court, public databases that reveal the true owners of firms have been taken offline in a number of nations. The offshore corporations of a significant plaintiff in the case are made public by The Pandora Papers.
Another uncommon look into private collections that have been targeted by law enforcement for allegedly housing looted ancient treasures is provided by a warrant for rare pieces that were seized from the Manhattan home of a notable benefactor and trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A UN TAX REFORM ANNOUNCED
The United Nations has decided to set the framework for the formation of a new system of international tax cooperation, a long-stalled project that has traditionally been the purview of a small number of wealthy countries via the OECD. This is a diplomatic victory for African states.
For further information go to: Governments call for reforms to centuries-old honorary consul system – ICIJ