Friday, May 13, 2016

Panama tycoon accused of laundering drug money

This is what Dasha would call creative at a speed of light ;-)

"We’ve set up a hotline that can be used by those who want to put the cards on the table and provide data on their assets abroad that have not been reported to the Norwegian tax authorities"
~ OKOKRIM chief Trond Eirik Schea  ( )

Norway’s financial crime investigators have called on the country's citizens to confess their tax crimes in light of the Panama papers disclosures or face harsher penalties, local media reported Tuesday. A database of some 360,000 offshore accounts was published on Monday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). It has links to 97 Norwegian legal entities and citizens. via Kossacks in Moska Norway Urges 'Panama Papers' Tax Dodgers to Come Forward 

On Wednesday, Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston told Fairfax Media that Hong Kong "stood out" as the main low-tax jurisdiction linked to Australian taxpayers, and it now is looking at 140 cases linked with the low-tax nation. The agency has shared its intelligence with AUSTRAC and the police Australians identified in Panama papers could be up for criminal charges ATO 

Ex-Billionaire on Tax Shelters: I Trusted My Lawyers. Judge: Not Good Enough 

Last year Jennifer Hershon set out to do something none of Mossack Fonseca's clients had ever managed—she was checking out of Hotel California. Hershon, whose late husband Michael was known as Australia's "Brassiere Supremo" while running the Berlei-Hestia lingerie group, was bringing her British Virgin Islands company in from the cold. She wanted Mossack Fonseca to move it home to Australia. It's important to understand why that was such an accomplishment.
It's one aspect of low-tax jurisdictions that the Panama law firm doesn't mention in its sales brochure. It's easy to check in, but no one ever really leaves.

Panama Papers affair widens as database goes online BBC 

 Guide to Legal Tax Evasion YouTube 

Legal extract of Mossack Fonseca note - circa MMVII:

“(iv)         On the first day of his evidence-in–chief, Mr Michel had been explaining that many large trust companies in Jersey used BVI companies rather than Jersey companies because, in the case of the former, one did not have to disclose to the authorities who the beneficial owner of the company was.  He went on to say that he thought there would be up to 500,000 BVI companies in total.  The judge then intervened:-

“Sir Geoffrey Nice:   The sole reason for wanting this complete confidentiality and anonymity was…?

A:   Confidentiality.  That was what clients want.

Sir Geoffrey Nice:   Really?

A:   Yes.

Sir Geoffrey Nice:   Nothing to do with being free from exposure to tax?

A:  Well, I do not think so.  I mean…

Sir Geoffrey Nice:   30,000 people shy of publicity?

A:   500,000 people.
Sir Geoffrey Nice:  500,000, I am so sorry, shy of publicity.
A:   The big scandals that we have had here have not been centred on tax, with these companies, so I do not think it is just a tax thing at all.  I mean, they may be abused or used for tax evasion but I do not think that is the main thrust of them.  And so what happened was, and there is a firm called Mossack Fonseca which actually set its offices up here because there was such a demand for BVI companies.  And interestingly in the new Companies Law which is coming out next year the Jersey authorities are no longer going to require to know who the owner of these companies is.  They are taking it out of the law.” Mapping Column 8 hard core ironies ...

Mapping the Panama Papers middlemen 

The Telegraph, Churchill a 'Serial Tax Avoider'Sir Winston Churchill was a serial tax avoider who exploited loopholes and faked his own retirement in collusion with the chairman of Inland Revenue, his biographer has claimed.
Follow up to previous posting on Bespacific – ICIJ to Release Panama Papers Offshore Companies Data – today’s news – Offshore Leaks Database – Find out who’s behind almost 320,000 offshore companies and trusts from the Panama Papers and the Offshore Leaks investigations – accompanied by the following warning: “There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities included in the ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly. Many people and entities have the same or similar names. We suggest you confirm the identities of any individuals or entities located in the database based on addresses or other identifiable information. If you find an error in the database please get in touch with us.”
  •  The majority of the names in this database come from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, whose inner workings were exposed in the Panama Papers investigation published in April 2016 in conjunction with Süddetsche Zeitung and more than 100 other media partners. Around a third of the offshore entities were incorporated through Portcullis Trustnet (now Portcullis) and Commonwealth Trust Limited, two offshore service providers exposed as part of ICIJ’s 2013 Offshore Leaks exposé. This was the first information added to this database when it was released in June 2013, which was then produced in conjunction with Costa Rican newspaper La Nación. While many of the activities carried out through offshore entities are perfectly legal, extensive reporting by ICIJ and its media partners for more than four years has shown that the anonymity granted by the offshore economy facilitates money laundering, tax evasion, fraud and other crimes. Even when it’s legal, transparency advocates argue that the use of an alternative, parallel economy undermines democracy because it benefits a few at the expense of the majority. Read more about why ICIJ is making this information public here. The questions and answers below address the most frequent questions about this data. If you still have questions after reading them, please get in touch with us.”
Idiot's Guide: How To Search Panama Papers 

Panama Papers: ICIJ releases database revealing thousands of secret offshore companies

The name of one of the principal newspapers owned by The McClatchy Co. has turned up in the Panama Papers – and it was a corporate hijacking of sorts. On Dec. 2 last year, employees of the Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca registered an offshore company calling itself The Sacramento Bee Ltd in the British Virgin Islands.
Is your company’s name hijacked in the Panama Papers?  

PP via Guardian

 Australian corporate and individual taxpayers should be scrutinising their own offshore affairs and be able to effectively respond to regulatory scrutiny through strategic and measured means.
By Sean Mullins and Jonathan Slater: Mossack Fonseca, Panama and the implications for Australia 

AUSTRAC, an active member of the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (SFCT), has announced that it is analysing data received relating to the Panama Papers.
The ATO has shared data that they received relating to the Panama Papers with AUSTRAC.
AUSTRAC media release, 13 April 2016.

PANAMA PAPERS: Aussie firms linked to scandal

Nine News on Panama...

Flawed ‘Panama Papers’ Response FACT Coalition

For example the client list includes Li Ka Shing, whose $US31.1 billion fortune was not troubled by his $396 million fight with the Australian Tax Office; Thomas and Raymond Kwok, whose Hong Kong property empire (which includes Wilson Parking and Wilson Security in Australia) is valued at $US14.7 billion; Hui Ka Yan, whose Evergrande Real Estate group is worth $US9.8 billion; and Chinese billionaire Liang Guangwei, a former People's Liberation Army soldier and head of a state-backed technology conglomerate who recently bought a $64 million block of land next to the new headquarters of the Australian spy agency. The Panama Papers: Where Australia beats the world

A British Virgin Islands company linked to former Reserve Bank board member Robert Gerard refused for more than four years to supply documents which would identify him as the beneficial owner of the company The Panama Papers: Robert Gerard used new BVI companies after $150m tax bill

Panama Papers investigation: 'NZ absolutely, conclusively is a tax haven'

Panama tycoon accused of laundering drug money Financial Times. A safe target


Key said he had "never been kicked out as Prime Minister before."
While his office confirmed, based on information from the Clerk's office, that Key had never been asked to leave the House at any point since becoming an MP -  the Parliamentary Library's record shows this is his fourth occasion.
The Library confirmed Key was asked to leave the debating chamber twice in 2006 and once in 2007 while he was Opposition leader.
A spokesman from Key's office said the Parliamentary Library's record was accurate.
Key thrown out of parliament over *Panama papers row

Apology sought over Key's Panama Papers charity claim

The Panamanian Shell Game: Cybercriminals With Offshore Bank Accounts? - TrendLabs Security Intelligence Blog

0.0001 Percent of People and Companies Named in Panama Papers Are American

Anti-Money Laundering Experts Deeply Concerned by Administration’s 

SAY “PANAMA” these days and the word “papers” quickly comes to mind. Too bad. I recently visited this small Central American country and saw firsthand what is largely unknown: Panama is a huge economic success story, enjoying an average annual growth rate that’s about the best in the world in the 21st century. Things have “slowed” recently: Growth last year was a tad below 6% but is expected to be a bit above 6% this year. Unlike the numbers coming out of China these days, which are ostensibly slightly higher, Panama’s are the real deal. Its growth is still light-years ahead of that in most of the world’s countries. The Panama Papers? Here's The Real Panama Story

Remembering Daniel Berrigan: A Penniless, Powerful Voice for Peace New York Times

As PM launches anti-corruption summit, tycoon Bill Browder claims: 'Britain's a brothel for dirty money'  

Is Pro-Business Reform Pro-Growth? Evan Soltas

This document ... provides a summary of the present-law Federal tax system as in effect for 2016. The current Federal tax system has four main elements: (1) an income tax on individuals and corporations (which consists of both a “regular” income tax and an alternative minimum tax); (2) payroll taxes on wages (and corresponding taxes on self-employment income) to finance certain social insurance programs; (3) estate, gift, and generation-skipping taxes, and (4) excise taxes on selected goods and services. This document provides a broad overview of each of these elements.

How a modern car thief can steal a vehicle by clicking a button Security Affairs

Welcome to Shenzhen, the Silicon Valley of China. Thirty-six years ago it was a village of 30,000 residents. Today, 14 million people call it home and for anyone wanting to see what the Chinese economic miracle really looks like, the place to go Shenzhen Chinas silicon valley