Legendary electronic music trio Swedish House Mafia was named in the Pandora Papers, an explosive leak of offshore financial data.
The cache of 11.9 million leaked documents published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists implies dozens of politicians, billionaires, celebrities and business leaders. They reveal numerous sensitive financial deals, secret bank accounts and controversial tax infrastructures, leading to a global scramble by the world's elite to mitigate the consequences.
According to a report by the Swedish state public television broadcaster SVT, the Swedish house mafia has set up a company in the British Virgin Islands to manage the ownership of various recordings published by the group, as well as the name and logo. The company reportedly owned the rights to "Don't You Worry Child" and "Save the World," two of the band's most popular songs.
In 2009, the Swedish house mafia hired an investment advisor to set up the company, SHM Holdings Ltd., reports SVT. The consultant is said to have created it on behalf of band members Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello by a separate company called Marsham LLC, which originated on Nevis, a small island in the Caribbean Sea.
Parlophone Music Sweden / Wikimedia Commons
It is important to note that the Swedish house mafia is not currently under investigation for tax evasion or financial misconduct, and its involvement in the Pandora Papers debacle does not necessarily incriminate its members. A spokesman for the band confirmed the existence of the offshore company in an email to SVT, but claimed that the arrangement – including the connection with the investment advisor – ended in 2013, despite allegedly only operating in 2017.
"(There were) questions about whether the construction could be perceived as a concealment of assets, so to speak, that could harm the SHM brand," the spokesman said, adding that the company's purpose "was not tax evasion."
The Swedish House Mafia is in the middle of an energetic comeback campaign and recently announced their first music festival appearance for 2021 and a high profile collaboration with The Weeknd. Prior to the July 2021 release of "It Gets Better", the trio hadn't released any new music since the groundbreaking 2012 album "Until Now". The group eventually split after completing the sprawling One Last Tour in 2013 before reuniting for a momentous appearance at the 2018 Ultra Music Festival in Miami.