Secret records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists reveal tens of thousands of people in more than 170 countries and territories linked to offshore companies and trusts.
– Government officials and their families and associates in Azerbaijan, Russia, Canada, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, Mongolia and other countries have embraced the use of covert companies and bank accounts.
– The mega-rich use complex offshore structures to own mansions, yachts, art masterpieces and other assets, gaining tax advantages and anonymity not available to average people.
– Many of the world’s top’s banks – including UBS, Clariden and Deutsche Bank – have aggressively worked to provide their customers with secrecy-cloaked companies in the British Virgin Islands and other offshore hideaways.
– A well-paid industry of accountants, middlemen and other operatives has helped offshore patrons shroud their identities and business interests, providing shelter in many cases to money laundering or other misconduct.
– Ponzi schemers and other large-scale fraudsters routinely use offshore havens to pull off their shell games and move their ill-gotten gains.
Piercing the secrecy of offshore tax havens
Source: Scott Higham, Michael Hudson and Marina Walker Guevara, Washington Post, April 6, 2013