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ICIJ's Secrecy for Sale digital newsbook

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229 pages
e y r l D I G I T A L N E W SB O O K FORSecec Sa Inside the Global Offshore Money Maze The International Consortium THE CENTER FOR of Investigative Journalists PUBLIC INTEGRITY SHOW CONTENTS v Secrecy for Sale ©2013 Center for Public Integrity 2 Table of Contents 4 Introduction: Secret Files 71 Offshore Companies Provide Expose Offshore’s Global Link Between Corporate Impact Mogul and Azerbaijan’s President 17 Caribbean Go-Between Provided Shelter for Far-Away 77 François Hollande’s Frauds, Documents Show Campaign Treasurer’s Investments in the Cayman 31 Lawyers and Accountants Islands Help Rich Manage Their Money 81 ‘Crony’ of African Strongman Among Thai Names in Secret 40 Faux Corporate Directors Offshore Files Stand in for Fraudsters, Despots and Spies 88 Mega-Rich Use Tax Havens to Buy and Sell Masterpieces 47 Ferdinand Marcos’ Daughter Tied to Offshore Trust in 95 Elites Undermine Putin Rail Caribbean Against Tax Havens 55 Taxmen Have Little Clue of 99 Ponzi Scheme Used Offshore Offshore Companies Owned Hideaways to Shuffle by Greeks Investors’ Money 64 Disclosure of Secret Offshore 106 Deutsche Bank Helped Documents May Force Top Customers Maintain Mongolian Lawmaker to Resign Hundreds of Offshore Entities 66 Canadian Senator’s Husband Shifted Money Into Offshore 108 French Banks Traded in Tax Havens Secrecy Go online for more about the ICIJ’s investigation into offshore secrecy including videos and related stories at: www.
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D I G I T A L N E W SB O O K
FORSecec Sa
Inside the Global
Offshore Money Maze
The International Consortium THE CENTER FOR
of Investigative Journalists PUBLIC INTEGRITY
SHOW CONTENTSelrySecrecy for Sale ©2013 Center for Public Integrity 2
Table of Contents
4 Introduction: Secret Files 71 Offshore Companies Provide
Expose Offshore’s Global Link Between Corporate
Impact Mogul and Azerbaijan’s
President
17 Caribbean Go-Between
Provided Shelter for Far-Away 77 François Hollande’s
Frauds, Documents Show Campaign Treasurer’s
Investments in the Cayman
31 Lawyers and Accountants Islands
Help Rich Manage Their
Money 81 ‘Crony’ of African Strongman
Among Thai Names in Secret
40 Faux Corporate Directors Offshore Files
Stand in for Fraudsters,
Despots and Spies 88 Mega-Rich Use Tax Havens to
Buy and Sell Masterpieces
47 Ferdinand Marcos’ Daughter
Tied to Offshore Trust in 95 Elites Undermine Putin Rail
Caribbean Against Tax Havens
55 Taxmen Have Little Clue of 99 Ponzi Scheme Used Offshore
Offshore Companies Owned Hideaways to Shuffle
by Greeks Investors’ Money
64 Disclosure of Secret Offshore 106 Deutsche Bank Helped
Documents May Force Top Customers Maintain
Mongolian Lawmaker to Resign Hundreds of Offshore
Entities
66 Canadian Senator’s Husband
Shifted Money Into Offshore 108 French Banks Traded in
Tax Havens Secrecy
Go online for more about the ICIJ’s investigation into offshore secrecy
including videos and related stories at: www.icij.org/offshore
3CO Er CONTENTS FIr ST Ar TICLE 4
vSecrecy for Sale ©2013 Center for Public Integrity 3
Table of Contents
113 The Swiss Lawyers Who Help 171 Jailed Property Man Hid
Europe’s Richest Families Assets Offshore During
Park Their Wealth Offshore Divorce
120 Swiss Bank Pushed Offshore 174 Secret Files Reveal
Middleman to Skip Anti- Rothschild’s Offshore Domain
Money Laundering Checks
177 Family of Televangelist Chris for Wealthy Clients
Oyakhilome Incorporated
124 Dutch Banking Giants Helped Secretive Company in Tax
Clients Go Offshore Haven
126 After Multi-Million 183 India Says It Will Investigate
Inheritance, Playboy Sachs Offshore Leaks Revelations
Goes Offshore
187 Bank Owned by Paraguay’s
135 Offshore Documents Solve Leading Presidential
Mystery of Pre-Civil War Candidate Linked to Tax Haven
Helicopter Deal in Congo
192 Crocodile Dundee Actor Paul
144 Offshore Tax Havens Became Hogan Chases His Missing
Traps for Investors Offshore Millions
154 Son of Leading Pakistani 196 Who Uses the Offshore World
Politician Tied to Secret
214 Methodologies: How ICIJ’s Caribbean Company
Project Team Analyzed the
159 Top Malaysian Politicians Use Offshore Files
Offshore Secrecy
220 Follow-Up: Release of
166 Billionaires Among Offshore Records Draws
Thousands of Indonesians Worldwide Response
Found in Secret Offshore
Documents 229 About the ICIJ
Cover Graphic: Tim Meko/Shutterstock
3CO Er CONTENTS FIr ST Ar TICLE 4
vSecrecy for Sale ©2013 Center for Public Integrity 4
Graphic: Tim Meko/Shutterstock
Introduction
Secret Files Expose
Offshore’s Global Impact
By Gerard Ryle, Marina Walker Guevara, Michael Hudson,
Nicky Hager, Duncan Campbell and Stefan Candea
Published Online: April 3, 2013
Ca Ch e of 2.5 million files Dozens of journalists sifted
has cracked open the s-eA crets of more than 120,000 through millions of leaked
offshore companies and trusts, - exrecords and thousands posing hidden dealings of pol-iti
cians, con men and the mega-rich of names to produce
the world over.ICIJ’s investigation into The secret records obtained by
the International Consortium of offshore secrecy.
Investigative Journalists lay bare
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vSecrecy for Sale ©2013 Center for Public Integrity 5
the names behind covert comp-a
nies and private trusts in the B- rit Key Findings
ish Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands
● Government officials and their
and other offshore hideaways.
families and associates in Azerbai-
They include American doctors
jan, Russia, Canada, Pakistan, the
and dentists and middle-class Greek
Philippines, Thailand, Mongolia and
villagers as well as families an-d as
other countries have embraced the
sociates of long-time despots, Wall
use of covert companies and bank
Street swindlers, Eastern European
accounts.
and Indonesian billionaires, Russian
● The mega-rich use complex offshore corporate executives, international
structures to own mansions, yachts, arms dealers and a sham-director-
art masterpieces and other assets, fronted company that the European
gaining tax advantages and anonym-Union has labeled as a cog in Iran’s
ity not available to average people.nuclear-development program.
The leaked files provide facts ● Many of the world’s top’s banks
and figures — cash transfers, in- cor — including UBS, Clariden and
poration dates, links between c-om Deutsche Bank — have aggressively
panies and individuals — that i-llus worked to provide their customers
trate how offshore financial secrecy with secrecy-cloaked companies in
has spread aggressively around the the British Virgin Islands and other
globe, allowing the wealthy and the offshore hideaways.
well-connected to dodge taxes and
● A well-paid industry of accountants, fueling corruption and economic
middlemen and other opera-woes in rich and poor nations alike.
tives has helped offshore patrons The records detail the offshore
shroud their identities and business holdings of people and companies
interests, providing shelter in many in more than 170 countries and t - er
cases to money laundering or other ritories.
misconduct.The hoard of documents rep-re
sents the biggest stockpile of inside ● Ponzi schemers and other large-scale
information about the offshore s- ys fraudsters routinely use offshore
tem ever obtained by a media or-ga havens to pull off their shell games
nization. The total size of the files, and move their ill-gotten gains.
measured in gigabytes, is more
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vSecrecy for Sale ©2013 Center for Public Integrity 6
than 160 times larger than the leapko rate — can roil economies and pit
of U.S. State Department do-cu nations against each other. Europe’s
ments by Wikileaks in 2010. continuing financial crisis has been
To analyze the documents, ICIJ fueled by a Greek fiscal disaster e- x
collaborated with reporters from Tahce erbated by offshore tax cheating
Guardian and the BBC in the U.K., and by a banking meltdown in the
Le Monde in France, Süddeutsche tiny tax haven of Cyprus, where - lo
Zeitung and Norddeutscher Rund- cal banks’ assets have been inflated
funk in Germany, The Washington by waves of cash from Russia.
Post, the Canadian Broadcasting Anti-corruption campaigners a- r
Corporation (CBC) and 31 other m- e gue that offshore secrecy undermines
dia partners around the world. law and order and forces average
Eighty-six journalists from 46c itizens to pay higher taxes to make
countries used high-tech datau p for revenues that vanish offshore.
crunching and shoe-leather rep-ortStudies have estimated that cross- -bor
ing to sift through emails, accoundte r flows of global proceeds of f-inan
ledgers and other files coverincgi al crimes total between $1 trillion
nearly 30 years. and $1.6 trillion a year.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. ICIJ’s 15-month investigation
This secret world has finally bee-n re found that, alongside perfectl-y le
vealed,” said Arthur Cockfield, a lagwa l transactions, the secrecy and
professor and tax expert at Queen’lsa x oversight offered by the offshore
University in Canada, who reviewedw orld allows fraud, tax dodging and
some of the documents during an political corruption to thrive.
interview with the CBC. He said the
documents remind him of the scene Offshore patrons identified in
in the movie classic The Wizard of the documents include:
Oz in which “they pull back the c -ur
• I n d i v i d u a l s a n d c o m p a n i e s l i n k e d
tain and you see the wizard ope-rat
to Russia’s Magnitsky Affair, a tax
ing this secret machine.”
fraud scandal that has strained
U.S.-Russia relations and led to a
Mobsters and Oligarchs ban on Americans adopting Ru- s
sian orphans.
The vast flow of offshore money —
legal and illegal, personal and c- o •r A V ene z u el a n de a l m a ker a c c u s e d
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vSecrecy for Sale ©2013 Center for Public Integrity 7
of using offshore entities to b - ankeager to find out whether any - as
roll a U.S.-based Ponzi scheme sets in the trust are part of th -e esti
and funneling millions of dollarmsa ted $5 billion her father amassed
in bribes to a Venezuelan gove-rn through corruption.
ment official. Manotoc, a provincial governor in
the Philippines, declined to answer a
• A co r p o r a t e m o g u l w ho w o n b i l-
series of questions about the trust.
lions of dollars in contracts amid
Azerbaijani President Ilham A - li
yev’s massive construction boom Politically connected wealth
even as he served as a director of
The files obtained by ICIJ shine a
secrecy-shrouded offshore co-m
light on the day-to-day tactics that
panies owned by the president’s
offshore services firms and thei-r cli
daughters.
ents use to keep offshore companies,
• I n d o ne s i a n b i l l i o n a i re s w it h t i e s trusts and their owners under cover.
to the late dictator Suharto, who Tony Merchant, one of Canada’s
enriched a circle of elites duringt op class-action lawyers, took extra
his decades in power. steps to maintain the privacy of a
Cook Islands trust that he’d stocked
The documents also provide p-os with more than $1 million in 1998,
sible new clues to crimes and money the documents show.
trails that have gone cold. In a filing to Canadian tax a- u
After learning ICIJ had ide-ntithorities, Merchant checked “no”
fied the eldest daughter of the lawthe en asked if he had foreign a - s
dictator Fer-di sets of more than $100,000 in 1999,
nand Marcos, court records show.
Maria Imelda Between 2002 and 2009, he often
Marcos Mano- paid his fees to maintain the trust
toc, as a ben- by sending thousands of dollars in
eficiary of a cash and traveler’s checks stuffed
British Virgin into envelopes rather than using
Islands (BVI) easier-to-trace bank checks or wire
trust, Phil-ip transfers, according to documents
pine officials from the offshore services firm that Maria Imelda
Marcos Manotoc said they were oversaw the trust for him.
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vSecrecy for Sale ©2013 Center for Public Integrity 8
One file note warned the firm’s In a neighboring land, the de-pu
staffers that Merchant would “hatvy spe eaker of Mongolia’s Parliament
a st[r]oke” if they tried to com-musaid he was considering resigning
nicate with him by fax. from office after ICIJ questioned
It is unclear whether his wifeh, im about records showing he has
Pana Merchant, a Canadian senatora, n offshore company and a secret
declared her Swiss bank account.
personal inter- “I shouldn’t have opened that a- c
est in the trustc ount,” Bayartsogt Sangajav, who has
on annual f-i also served as his country’s finance
nancial discl-o minister, said. “I probably should
sure forms. consider resigning from my position.”
Under legi-s Bayartsogt said his Swiss account
lative rules, she at one point contained more than
had to disclose $1 million, but most of the money
every year to belonged to what he described as
Tony Merchant the Senate’s “business friends” he had joined in
ethics commis- investing in international stocks.
sioner that she He acknowledged that he hasn’t
was a beneficiary of the trust, but thoef ficially declared his BVI company
information was confidential. or the Swiss account in Mongolia,
The Merchants declined requestsb ut he said he didn’t avoid taxes
for comment. because the investments didn’t p - ro
Other high profile names id -en duce income.
tified in the offshore data include “I should have included the co- m
the wife of Russia’s deputy primep any in my declarations,” he said.
minister, Igor Shuvalov, and two
top executives with Gazprom, the Wealthy Clients
Russian government-owned corp- o
rate behemoth that is the worldT’sh e documents also show how the
largest extractor of natural gas.mega-rich use complex offshore
Shuvalov’s wife and the Gazproms tructures to own mansions, art
officials had stakes in BVI com-pa and other assets, gaining tax ad -van
nies, documents show. All three d- etages and anonymity not available
clined comment. to average people.
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vSecrecy for Sale ©2013 Center for Public Integrity 9
Spanish names include a ba-r politicians, played a key role in
oness and famed art patron, C -arthe campaign that persuaded C-lin
men Thyssen-Bornemisza, who is ton to pardon her ex-spouse, Marc
identified in the documents usingR ich, an oil trader who had been
a company in the Cook Islands to wanted in the U.S. on tax evasion
buy artwork and racketeering charges.
through au -c Records obtained by ICIJ show
tion houses she had $144 million in April 2006
such as So- in a trust in the Cook Islands, a
theby’s and chain of coral atolls and volcanic
C h ri s ti e’s , outcroppings nearly 7,000 miles
i nc l u d i n g from her home at the time in M-an
Van Gogh’s hattan.
Water Mill at The trust’s holdings included
Gennep. a yacht called the Lady J, woyhere
Her attor- Rich often en-Baroness Carmen
Thyssen-Bornemisza ney acknowl- tertained c-e
edged that lebrities and
she gains tax raised money
benefits by holding ownership of for charity.
her art offshore, but stressed that Rich, who
she uses tax havens primarily -be gave up her
cause they give her “maximum fl-ex U.S. citizen-
ibility” when she moves art from ship in 2011
country to country. and now main-
Among nearly 4,000 American Denise Rich tains citize-n
names is Denise Rich, a Grammy- ship in Aus-
nominated songwriter whose ex- tria, did not
husband was at the center of anre ply to questions about her o- ff
American pardon scandal thats hore trust.
erupted as President Bill Clinton Another prominent American in
left office. the files who gave up his citizenship
A Congressional investigation is a m ember of the Mellon dynasty,
found that Rich, who raised m - ilwhich started landmark companies
lions of dollars for Democraticsu ch as Gulf Oil and Mellon Bank.
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vSecrecy for Sale ©2013 Center for Public Integrity 10
James R. Mellon — an author of Of the use of nominees, Me-l
books about Abraham Lincoln and lon said that “that’s the way these
his family’s founding patriarchf, irms are set up,” and added that
Thomas Mellon — used four co-m it’s useful for people like him who
panies in the BVI and Lichtensteint ravel a lot to have somebody else
to trade securities and transfer teinn chs arge of his businesses. “I just
of millions of heard of a presidential candidate
dollars among who had a lot of money in the C -ay
offshore bank man Islands,” Mellon, now a British
accounts he national, said, alluding to former
controlled. U.S. presidential candidate Mitt
Like many Romney.
offshore play- “Not everyone who owns o-ff
ers, Mellon shores is a crook.”
appears to
have taken Offshore growth
James R. Mellon steps to di-s
tance him - The anonymity of the offshore
self from his world makes it difficult to track the
offshore interests, the documentfsl ow of money. A study by James S.
show. He often used third partiesH’ enry, former chief economist at
names as directors and shareho- ldMcKinsey & Company, estimates
ers of his companies rather thant hat wealthy individuals have $21
his own, a legal tool that owners otrf illion to $32 trillion in priv-ate fi
offshore entities often use to p- renancial wealth tucked away in o- ff
serve anonymity. shore havens — roughly equivalent
Reached in Italy where lives part o the size of the U.S. and Japanese
of the year, Mellon told ICIJ thaetc, onomies combined.
in fact, he used to own “a whole Even as the world economy has
bunch” of offshore companies but stumbled, the offshore world has
has disposed of all of them. Hec ontinued to grow, said Henry, who
said he set up the firms for “taxis a b oard member of the Tax Ju- s
advantage” and liability reasons, atsi ce Network, an internationa-l re
advised by his lawyer. “But I haves earch and advocacy group that is
never broken the tax law.” critical of offshore havens. Hi-s re
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