Author Topic: Panama Papers thread  (Read 3113 times)

Junkenstein

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Re: Panama Papers thread
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2016, 12:46:17 am »
Also, just calling links to both Trump and Clinton (and probably Sanders too, why not?) within the next 72 hours.

It just feels inevitable.
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Cain

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Re: Panama Papers thread
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2016, 12:48:28 am »
Americans seem conspiciously absent from the data thus far.

That said, if any of the three was going to show up, it would most likely be Clinton, given the Clinton Foundation has already been investigated for dodgy donations and deals, with some of the countries who have featured heavily in the files.

Junkenstein

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Re: Panama Papers thread
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2016, 01:04:40 am »
Fair point, but I still won't raise an eyebrow at either, it's only worth speculating which is going to be linked first. Given Trumps questionable choices over the years I'd be stunned if there wasn't a highly suspicious link to him.

It seems only fair to speculate on which Labour MP's are going to be linked too now some of the tories are named. I'm guessing that Blair and other new labour figures will crop up soon enough too.
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Cain

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Re: Panama Papers thread
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2016, 03:01:02 am »
Oh I can tell you right now, Blair took blood money from Kazakhstan's dictator.  Literal blood money.

Junkenstein

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Re: Panama Papers thread
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2016, 09:14:29 am »
Ah the Blair we all know and loathe.

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Tony Blair gave damage-limitation advice to Nazarbayev and helped him craft a response which was later delivered before Western media

Did you ever see the Mark Thomas stunt where they posed as PR men to repressive dictatorships? I'm pretty sure he'll have ripped off half the response from that. Looking for it now, but if it mentions amnesty international being biased and other similar things I may loose a kidney laughing.
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Cain

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Re: Panama Papers thread
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2016, 12:37:25 pm »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35965855

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The government should consider imposing "direct rule" on British overseas territories and dependencies if they do not comply with UK tax law, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has said.

A huge data leak from Panama-based Mossack Fonseca showed the law firm registered more than 100,000 secret firms to the British Virgin Islands.

Mr Corbyn said their governments must understand the "anger" of Britons.

Quote
Reaction around the world includes:

    Crowds gathering outside Iceland's parliament demanding Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson step down over allegations he concealed investments in an offshore company
    Close relatives of seven current or former Chinese leaders have been found to have links to offshore firms
    The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is investigating more than 800 individual taxpayers, all residents of Australia
    The US Department of Justice is reviewing the leaked documents to look for evidence of corruption that could be prosecuted in the US, the Wall Street Journal reports
    France and Spain are investigating money laundering exposed by the leaks among their resident taxpayers
    Panama President Juan Carlos Varela has said his government has "zero tolerance" for illicit financial activities and would co-operate vigorously with any judicial investigation in any country

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A number of British overseas territories and Crown dependencies are named in the files raising the question of what the UK can do about them.

These are self-governing territories which rely on the UK for international relations and defence, but their autonomy can be removed, as in the case of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The UK government imposed direct rule on the Caribbean islands for three years after evidence was found of widespread corruption among the ruling elite.

It was only after the Turks and Caicos government implemented rules around sharing tax information that home rule was restored in 2012.

Quote
Former Business Secretary Vince Cable, a Liberal Democrat, said: "We can't send gunboats these days but we can take the small territories under direct rule."

Junkenstein

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Re: Panama Papers thread
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2016, 01:49:09 pm »
This is going to get hilarious:

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In 2013, Mr Cameron was quoted as saying: "I do not think it is fair any longer to refer to any of the overseas territories or Crown dependencies as tax havens - they have taken action to make sure that they have fair and open tax systems."

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Dominic Grieve, former Conservative attorney general, said removing self governance in overseas territories was a "bit of a nuclear option" and the consequences on the people and their economy needed careful consideration.
If havens in overseas territories were shut down, people would go elsewhere where there might be far fewer regulations which would encourage the money laundering and criminality we want to suppress

That is practically the exact same argument used by the arms trade: If I didn't do it, someone worse might.

Given that the issue needs dramatic and radical revisions, I would have thought the nuclear option to be preferable. Sometimes it's easier to build a properly working system when you just destroy and remove the existing one.

In other news, shares in industrial shredding companies are up.
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Lenin McCarthy

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Re: Panama Papers thread
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2016, 05:17:28 pm »
Iceland is a mess today. Apparently the PM tried to blackmail his coalition partners into supporting him by threatening to call new elections. That didn't work, so he asked the President to call new elections, but the president refused. He did all this without consulting his own party, and now he has resigned, or his party has forced him to. It seems like the government is trying to go on like before only with a new PM. More protests tonight.


Junkenstein

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Re: Panama Papers thread
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2016, 08:39:02 pm »
Discussion censored in China apparently.

What a shock.

Also this, note the language used:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35970340

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HSBC, Credit Suisse and the Royal Bank of Scotland-owned Coutts Trustees all feature in the leaked Panama Papers.

Firstly, obviously HSBC are in there, top billing. We know some of their favoured wealthy client base well.

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The Panama Papers leak has revealed that more than 500 banks, including their subsidiaries and branches, registered nearly 15,600 shell companies with Mossack Fonseca.
Credit Suisse chief executive Tidjane Thiam said: "We do not condone structures for tax avoidance. Whenever there is a structure with a third party beneficiary we insist to know the identity of that beneficiary."
He added: "We as a company, as a bank only encourage the use of structures when there is a legitimate economic purpose."

What a wonderful phrase. You could twist that to mean practically anything. This must be a wonderful time to be a corporate lawyer.

Hey Cain, assuming the BVI/Caymans and other UK related crap actually finally becomes toxic enough to avoid, who's you're favourite for taking over the bulk of the client base? I've got £1 on Nigeria and Sealand and £20 on Luxembourg.
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P3nT4gR4m

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Re: Panama Papers thread
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2016, 10:06:18 pm »
Not actually a meat product.
Ass-Kicking & Foot-Stomping Ancient Master of SHIT FUCK FUCK FUCK
Awful and Bent Behemothic Results of Last Night's Painful Squat.
High Altitude Haggis-Filled Sex Bucket From Beyond Time and Space.
Internet Monkey Person of Filthy and Immoral Pygmy-Porn Wart Contagion
Octomom Auxillary Heat Exchanger Repairman
walking the fine line line between genius and batshit fucking crazy

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Cain

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Re: Panama Papers thread
« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2016, 01:04:03 am »
Hey Cain, assuming the BVI/Caymans and other UK related crap actually finally becomes toxic enough to avoid, who's you're favourite for taking over the bulk of the client base? I've got £1 on Nigeria and Sealand and £20 on Luxembourg.

Delaware.

It's where most of the Americans absent from this list are already doing their dirty business.

Junkenstein

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Re: Panama Papers thread
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2016, 12:21:49 pm »
Ah, will have to look into that more. Thanks.

Today's rotten meat:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-35977340

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Chancellor George Osborne said the government had done more than any previous government to tackle tax evasion and avoidance and to "make sure people pay the taxes that are owed".
Asked whether he himself had benefitted from an offshore fund, Mr Osborne said: "All of our interests as ministers and MPs are declared in the register of members' interests. We've made our position very clear."
:lulz: :lulz: :lulz:
This is a very long winded way to say "Yes, Fuck you."

For those inclined, here's the current register, such as it is:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/160321/160321.pdf

Its 550+ Pages of badly laid out crap. However, as always with these things, a quick CTRL+F for particular words always get some amusement. "Bahrain" comes up quite a bit, for example. "Panama" not at all.

It's also a chuckle to see who's throwing money at who:

For example:

Quote
Name of donor: Max Mosley
Address of donor: private
Amount of donation or nature and value if donation in kind: £12,500 in support of
my campaign for deputy leadership of the Labour Party
Date received: 29 August 2015
Date accepted: 29 August 2015
Donor status: individual
(Registered 17 September 2015)
Name of donor: Max Mosley
Address of donor: private
Amount of donation or nature and value if donation in kind: donation of printing,
with a value of £27,554.06, in support of my campaign for deputy leadership of
the Labour Party
Date received: 29 August 2015
Date accepted: 29 August 2015
Donor status: individual
(Registered 17 September 2015)

To Tom Watson.


But yes, an expected excuse claiming that nothing is wrong, everything is as good as it can be. Unsurprisingly this has led to much reaction yet around the fact that MP's can have multiple jobs, charge highly questionable rates and receive "Goods, gifts and services in kind" of some remarkable values.

Literally scanned and stopped at random:

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Name of donor: Service Employees International Union
Address of donor: 1800 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 200036
Amount of donation (or estimate of the probable value): flights and
accommodation; £1,722
Destination of visit: San Paulo, Brazil
Date of visit: 15-22 August 2015
Purpose of visit: UK delegate for Fast Food Rights Campaign.
(Registered 17 September 2015)

£1700? For Flights and accommodation for week? Firstly, I'm sure there's a UK ambassador in Brazil that could have made it over for the week. Secondly, this is a shitty campaign as I've never heard of it and it apparently is spending money of flying random people to Brazil. I wonder what else it's doing?

https://fastfoodrights.wordpress.com/

Closest I can find to an official site that isn't a facebook page. Got to keep those costs down I suppose. So what did they have to say about what went on in brazil for a week?

Err, Fuck all. Literally nothing. I Hope they asked Dawn Butler for a refund. Ah Well, at least she probably mentioned it herself on her own website, right?
http://www.dawnbutler.org.uk/news?page=4
No.
I've not trawled through anywhere else but I doubt there's much of a record considering she's not bothered with her own site.

I have no particular axe to grind against Butler, on the face of things she should be the kind of MP you want more of. The problem you always get with this shit is transparency. Possibly innocent things look remarkably suspicious very quickly with little effort. It doesn't help when you keep not seeing any reference to the activities undertaken. It looks a little shady, like someone got their flights paid for a jolly to Brazil for a week and kept it largely on the QT. I'm reluctantly forced to think that when you can raise a shitload of questions around one random entry, how many are actually just blatant lies? More than a few will be playing the odds and certainly some will be thinking that they won't be caught out twice over expenses so it's worth a punt. After all, it wasn't really that bad the last round anyway.

In conclusion, I again propose hanging the lot and passing total control of the Nation to my benevolent dictatorship. It's the only thing that makes sense.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 12:25:26 pm by Junkenstein »
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Junkenstein

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Re: Panama Papers thread
« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2016, 12:58:25 pm »
http://www.private-eye.co.uk/registry

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rms dealers and oligarchs
The Eye identified £170bn worth of properties acquired by offshore companies in just ten years. As most transactions did not give values, however, the total is likely to be well over £200bn. It highlighted their use by property developers such as the Candy brothers to avoid tax, the landed gentry like Lord Rothermere to escape inheritance tax and any number of arms dealers and oligarchs covering up properties they’d rather nobody knew too much about.

Among the properties were 20,590 acquired by companies registered in Jersey, 12,061 in the Isle of Man, 11,536 in Guernsey, 2,782 in Mauritius, 2,657 in Gibraltar, 1,963 in Panama and 1,245 in the Cayman Islands. But the most popular location for registering a property company offshore, with 22,155 in the period, was that convenient financial centre of… the British Virgin Islands.

While Jersey has been most commonly linked by criminal investigators to money-laundering cases, this is only because of the closer links with the authorities there. The BVI, where the identities of companies’ owners are not filed with the authorities, is a tougher nut to crack. (A recent Freedom of Information request by Christian Aid for the Serious Fraud Office’s risk assessment for the BVI was refused on the less than reassuring grounds that releasing it would harm relations with the territory).

It may be worth noting here that a Risk Assessment is a legal document in the UK. Potential liabilities ahoy.
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Junkenstein

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Re: Panama Papers thread
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2016, 02:18:54 pm »
Mossack have now grabbed a PR/damage limitation gang in:

http://mossfonmedia.com/

That's filled with some impressive lies and bullshit. Lots of wheedling too.

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We would like to provide you with our case by case responses to reports that have surfaced in the media.

Please realize that Mossack Fonseca has never been sued or accused of wrongdoing by any court in the world—we have only responded to requests for information in specific cases

No mention of UK crap. No mention of Iceland PM. Multiple mentions of "40 years with no criminal charges". No mention of the difficulties you would actually have in bringing said charges due to the nature and locations of their operation. Looking at the responses they've supplied these are clearly been vetted through lawyers so this should be worth watching.

Quote
So What Do We Actually Do?
Mossack Fonseca helps companies incorporate and provides registered agent services for our clients (e.g., lawyers, banks, and trusts). The registered agent function is a well-established service offering in our industry, and exists in jurisdictions around the world -- including the United States and United Kingdom.
Under Panamanian law, newly formed corporations must have a resident agent, and that agent must be a lawyer or law firm that’s based in Panama. The role of the resident agent is limited to the preparation and filing of documents to be recorded at the Public Registry. The resident agent is not involved in managing the business in any way.


There's another 2 paragraphs after that that still make absolutely no attempt to explain what they actually do. When it takes you 4+ paragraphs to say fuck all, whatever you are doing is fucking shady. It's really that simple.

The "media statement" is another heap of shit.

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(h) Backdated Documents: The issuance of documents with a retroactive date is a well-founded and
accepted practice when the decisions made with regard to the particular document are recorded in
resolutions approved before or when the transaction in particular has taken place and the formalization is
still pending. Such practice is common in our industry and its aim is not to cover up or hide unlawful
acts.

"It's OK when everyone does it, right?". Err, no. In most industries, if you issue a document with legal ramifications, then need to alter it or change it in any significant way, you revise it, redate it and indicate somewhere that this is not the original document. REV B/2/II, whatever. You differentiate the document because it has potential legal consequences. And we're talking about people here who can spare a few quid for admin. There's really no excuse for this because the lack of an audit trail indicates shenanigans.

That last line is a fucking killer. While it may be "well founded and accepted practice" it looks and sounds (and most likely IS) easily able to be turned towards deceptive and unlawful acts. The other consistent thing in the statement is the recurving concept of "elsewhere". "We did no wrong, look to others. We complied with these tough Panamanian laws. Not our fault, must be someone else's problem." Even taking them at their word here and this isn't their aim, what is the purpose?

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Junkenstein

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Re: Panama Papers thread
« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2016, 02:33:52 pm »
Also, I was discussing potential celebrity appearances last night. Officially taking bets.

I've got a tenner on Bono.

http://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/apr/06/panama-papers-reveal-offshore-dealings-stars

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The documents reveal a degree of chaos around the Duchess of York’s finances. Letters between Mossack Fonseca and Sarah Ferguson’s solicitors show the advisers of Prince Andrew’s former wife trying to make sense of her assets. The complex arrangements around Essar Company Inc, which was set up in the British Virgin Islands in May 2000, show some of the issues created by managing money offshore......

The duchess has recently announced plans to move to Verbier and applied to become a resident of Switzerland.

A spokesman for the duchess said: “Essar Company Inc was formed by the partners who were to develop the business opportunities with the duchess. Had any of the intellectual property generated income or gains or other profits, it would have been disclosed by the duchess as part of her normal tax filings.” The spokesman said the duchess always disclosed all sources of income in her tax returns.

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The actor has owned at least six offshore companies, also based in the BVI. The holdings included companies called Jumbo Jaz Investment, Jackie Chan Ltd and Dragon Stream Ltd. The veteran Hong Kong actor has featured in 150 films. Chan was not available for comment.

Quote
The US government warned Fischer that he could face a $250,000 fine and 10 years in prison. At a press conference in the run-up to the rematch, Fischer defiantly announced that he had not paid any taxes since 1976. He was indicted and never returned to the US.

In March 2005, Iceland granted him citizenship. He died there in 2008, three months after being given power of attorney over Kettering Consultants. The company was “owned” by four bearer shareholders, which gave it an extra degree of secrecy. The company was shut down in 2012.
Got to say, Bobby Fischer was a little surprising.

Quote
Margaret Thatcher’s son is listed as the beneficiary of a trust that is the ultimate owner of a house in Barbados. A complex sequence of companies shield his ownership of the property, where his family spend time every year. The trust, which is managed by a Guernsey-based offshore specialist called Harbour Trust, owns a BVI company called Calva Holdings Limited. Calva, in turn, owns another BVI company, which owns the Barbados property. The trust is furnished with nominee shareholders.

In a message to Mossack Fonseca’s compliance department, the managers said: “This trust structure has been part of a very longstanding relationship with Harbour and we are extremely careful to maintain client confidentiality which I am sure you will appreciate and similarly maintain.”

Thatcher was unavailable for comment.

Well, Obviously. I didn't even take bets on that one.

Nine naked Men just walking down the road will cause a heap of trouble for all concerned.