US Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross gestures as he leaves after addressing delegates at the annual Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference in east London, on November 6, 2017. / AFP / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS
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U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday he had done nothing wrong and did properly disclose his investments in a shipping firm that has significant business ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin's close inner circle.Reuters has not independently verified the documents.Ross was responding in media interviews to reports Sunday about his investments stemming from the so-called Paradise Papers, a trove of leaked documents about offshore investment that relate to the affairs of several wealthy individuals and institutions ranging from Ross to Britain's Queen Elizabeth and trading firm Glencore.The Times, which based its report on files from prominent offshore law firm Appleby, said Sibur stakeholders include Gennady Timchenko, a Russian oligarch and Putin associate who is subject to U.S. sanctions, and Putin's son-in-law, Kirill Shamalov.Navigator was mentioned in Ross' 57-page public financial disclosure report filed in December, before he officially joined the Trump administration.The newspaper said the Duchy had used offshore private equity funds designed to shield investors in the United Kingdom from having to pay U.S. tax on their holdings.
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