Secrecy for Sale: Inside the Global Offshore Money Mazehttp://www.icij.org/offshore
Year Published: 2013
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX15433
Big players are taking unprecedented steps to stop offshore abuses, but financial crime fighters worry reforms dont go far enough.
* Millions of leaked files from two financial service providers, a private bank in Jersey and the Bahamas corporate registry reveal how tax havens around the world are used to hide riches.
*Government officials and their families and associates in China, 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 banks -- including UBS, Credit Suisse 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.