Secrecy for Sale: Inside the Global Offshore Money Maze

Source: Marina Walker Guevara, Nicky Hager, Mar Cabra, Gerard Ryle and Emily Menkes, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, April 4, 2013

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.

Key Findings:
– 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.
Related:
Piercing the secrecy of offshore tax havens
Source: Scott Higham, Michael Hudson and Marina Walker Guevara, Washington Post, April 6, 2013