U2 frontman Bono used a company based in Malta to pay for a share in a shopping centre in a small town in Lithuania, the Paradise Papers have revealed.

The new leak, collectively known as the Paradise Papers, shows Malta to be a popular destination for Azeri money and helps give an idea of the vast amounts of foreign business flowing through the island.

The legendary singer was a co-director of the Maltese company Nude Estates, which bought the Aušra mall for €5.8m shortly after it opened in 2007.

Nude Estates incorporated a Lithuanian company of the same name to hold the property in Utena, 60 miles north of the capital, Vilnius.

In 2012, the shopping centre business was transferred to a company in Guernsey called Nude Estates 1.

A company was used in Malta probably because of its low-tax jurisdiction, which is reduced to five per cent. 

Bono’s spokeswoman told The Guardian: “Bono was a passive, minority investor in Nude Estates Malta Ltd, a company that was legally registered in Malta until it was voluntarily wound up in 2015. Malta is a well-established holding company jurisdiction within the EU.”

Bono was a passive, minority investor in Nude Estates Malta Ltd, a company that was legally registered in Malta until it was voluntarily wound up in 2015

She added that he was also a passive, minority investor in the Guernsey company linked to the shopping complex.

Bono, whose real name is Paul Hewson, has made no apologies for his tax affairs after previous revelations.

In 2015, he said U2 “paid a fortune in tax”. 

In the coming days, Times of Malta will be reporting about the contents of the global investigation's links to Malta.

The leak of financial documents - which come after the Panama Papers - has revealed how the powerful and ultra-wealthy invest vast amounts of cash in offshore tax havens.

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