Oligarchs and dictators’ daughters apparently have a penchant for bunkering their assets on the British Virgin Islands. Barons and composers, on the other hand, seem to prefer the Cook Islands. To cheat on taxes, they create bogus firms with imaginative names like Tantris, Moon Crystal or Sequoia.
Those are just a few details published this week on a major global system of tax evasion, which sheds new light on the methods used to deceive fiscal authorities and hide money. In what is believed to be the largest data leak in history, anonymous informants have provided an international consortium of journalists with around 2.5 million documents detailing activities in tax havens around the world.
The virtual Everest of data exposes some 120,000 letterbox entities, offshore accounts and other dubious deals in more than 170 countries, in addition to the names of 140,000 individuals alleged to have placed their money in known tax havens. The list includes politicians, celebrities, weapons dealers, oligarchs, financiers and a very diverse cast of characters. It also includes hundreds of Germans. Reporters at the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper noted that the most famous German featured on the list is society playboy Gunter Sachs, best known abroad as Brigitte Bardot’s husband for a brief period in the 1960s, who committed suicide in 2011 at the age of 78.
A 15-Month Reporting Project
Phi Beta Iota: From both an Information Operations (IO) perspective, and from a Predictable Revolution (PR) perspective, this is a break-through. The 1% rip-off of the 99% only works if there is a 10-20% “buffer” of more or less faithful retainers who avert their eyes in the face of daily misdeeds from pedophilia to tax cheating to treason. That era appears to be over. It merits Apart from Iceland no other government in the West has demonstrated the integrity necessary to begin restoring a modicum of equality to the distribution of wealth. Others can speculate about the future — we see increasing signs that public tolerance of government corruption, which enables private sector fraud, has come to an end.