Posts Tagged ‘Offshore havens’

What Is The Best Way For Governments To Combat Global Tax Evasion?

Friday, August 10th, 2012

By: Ainsley Brown

The answer: follow the money to the evader.

This is of course easier said than done.

According to Tax Justice Network’s report, ‘The Price of Offshore Revisited,’ global tax evasion in 2010 amounted to at least $21 Trillion – yes that’s trillion with a T. The Tax Justice Network’s numbers were based on examining the offshore assets under management deposits and custody assets of the top 50 individual banks around the world. This number as incredible as it sounds is conservative according to the report’s author James Henry.

If you are having a hard time conceptualize $21 trillion dollars, believe me you are not alone as I had the same difficulty. A piece on the BBC was of great assistance in putting $21 trillion in to context – albeit in an alarming way – and that is “it is more than a quarter of the total GDP (gross domestic product) for the whole world – about the size of the US and Japanese economies combined.”

With that context in mind what is the best way to fight global tax evasion?

Again I charge: follow the money to the evader.

I know, I know, easier said than done.

Given the state of the global economy and the fiscal constraints many governments find themselves one would reasonably think that all is being done to locate, account and tax these monies? With a conservative $21 trillion out there, the results so far speak for themselves.

And I will repeat follow the money to the evader.

But how? Stay tuned for Part II.

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Will the real Leeds owners please stand up?

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

By Charles Wanguhu

In the current financial crisis the role of offshore havens have been placed in the spotlight and quite rightly so. The lack of transparency in their dealings has meant that these centres have not only been used for tax evasion, money laundering, but also as bases for special purpose entities. The role of British offshore havens has of late been highlighted with regards to the ownership of football clubs.

The Riddle of Leeds Football Club ownership has played out quite interestingly in the Royal Court of Jersey.  In January this year the Leeds Chairman Ken Bates told the court that he jointly owned the club’s holding company, Forward Sports Fund. However in an affidavit sworn for the same court in May, Bates states that he did not own any shares in Forward and that the previous statement was “incorrect” and “an error” on his part.

An interesting point to note is that Forward Sports Fund is a Cayman Islands-registered outfit, with its administrators in the very transparent capital of Switzerland. Château Fiduciaire the administrators/trustees on being pushed to reveal the beneficial owners of Forward indicated that;

“Understandably, it is not the policy of this company, a fully regulated Swiss fiduciaire, to release information on ultimate ownership without an appropriate court order, valid in Switzerland.”

The ownership of Leeds United has been routed via a network of offshore companies ever since Ken Bates arrived at Elland Road club in 2005. Bates in his affidavit states that:

The real owners

The real owners

“Neither I, Mark Taylor or Shaun Harvey are able to confirm who the ultimate beneficial owners of Forward are.”

The above not only makes a mockery of the Football associations “fit and proper test” of Club owners but just goes to show the lack of transparency in football administration.

A similar tale is being played out at league two Nott’s county club with the shareholding behind the Qadbak investment trust that now owns the club remaining unclear. A Pakistani businessman has come out to deny any shareholding in the club despite the club declaring that he was one of the key backers of the club. Qadbak, is surprise suprise registered in the British Virgin Islands.

As it stands Leeds football club is owned by the shareholders of a company registered in the Cayman Islands, administered in Geneva by trustees who pending a court order valid in Switzerland will not reveal the ultimate beneficial owners.

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