|W.I.L. Home Page||Offshore News Digest Home|
YOU ARE A SUSPECT, CONTINUED
US Defense Department Information Awareness Office web site here.
The Guardian: Poindexter is, once again, one of the most powerful men in America. News of appointment to head the “Information Awareness Office” back-paged by terror alert. Story here.
US Hopes to Check Computers Globally. Story here.
ACLU Urges Bush to kill Pentagon data-mine plan. News story here.
Reason magazine’s reasonline: “Poindexter’s laboratory”. You are probably not a terrorist, but the government can’t be sure until it puts your information in a huge, centralized database, where Poindexter’s computers can sniff it over. You haven’t visited any terrorist havens, purchased books about weapons, read subversive online propaganda, or undergone plastic surgery lately, have you? No need to answer — the government will know soon enough if Poindexter's vision is realized. Rest of article here.
Homeland Security Department bill a supersnoop’s dream. Analysis here.
US Rep. Ron Paul: Oppose the Homeland Security Bureaucracy! Speech here.
U.K. FOREIGN SECRETARY BLAMES COLONIAL PAST
Straw says British past imperialism gave rise to present world crisis. (He did not mention current Labour colonialism imposed on the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and the British overseas territories.)More on this story here.
Labour to chase offshore UK tax evaders with extradition law.More on this story here.
Going offshore: British perspective and advice here.
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS RESTRICTS USE OF IBC BEARER SHARESMore on this story here. (Registration required.)
BRITISH REJECT E.U. TAX “HARMONIZATION”
London will not go along with plans for EU-wide taxes.More on this story here.
EU Justice Court favors taxpayers over governments.More on this story here.
IRISH REVENUE TARGETS THE VERY RICH
DUBLIN: Suspects include wealthy persons named during Ansbacher-Caymans tax evasion investigation.More on this story here.
Irish comment: casual tax attitude suits the very rich.Comment here.
MONACO: TINY TAX HAVEN KEEPS EXPANDING
A principality’s half century of land reclamation.More on this story here.
Prince Rainier hospitalized.More on this story here.
BARBADOS FEARS U.S. ANTI-OFFSHORE POLICIES
BRIDGETOWN: Nation has profited from US offshore tax laws.More on this story here.
TIME TO TAME THE TAX POLICE
The US needs a law-abiding IRS commissioner who understands simple economics.Opinion here.
TWO MORE LEADERS OF ANDERSON’S ARC SENT TO PRISON
From 1996 to 2001 as many as 2,000 clients paid Anderson’s Ark a total of $50 million in fees to move untaxed money offshore and then return it to them. In March 2001, the I.R.S. conducted its biggest raids ever, seizing records at dozens of Ark offices and arresting four people. Nine people have pleaded guilty or have been convicted in the case so far, two on tax charges and the others on money laundering charges. Founder Keith Anderson, still fighting extradition from Costa Rica, calls the U.S. government “the Mafia terrorist organization” and maintains that the income tax laws are a hoax. Wayne Anderson, the brother of the founder, was sentenced to seven years in prison, and Richard Marks was sentenced to 59 months and fined $25 thousand. Both men were convicted in May 2002 of money laundering.More on this story here.
PROPOSED I.R.S. RULE THREAT TO U.S. ECONOMY
Jack Kemp opposes US banks reporting foreigners interest income.More on this story here.
U.S. ASSET SAFETY FROM LAWSUITS MAY INCREASE
It is all but certain that the Republican Party’s election victories will move the call for reform, sought by the business world for years, higher on the legislative agenda.More on this story here.
GOLD PRICE RISES; HEDGING CUT BACK
Gold’s price increases hurt profits of bullion banks.More on this story here.
GERMAN SOCIALISTS IMPOSE CAPITAL GAINS TAX
BERLIN: Promises of tax cuts forgotten; 15% capital gains tax planned.More on this story here.
US COURT RULES AGAINST WARRANTLESS PC SEARCHES
A federal judge has ruled that law enforcement officials went too far when they tried to use evidence gathered by a known hacker to convict someone of possessing child pornography. The decision is believed to be the first to say that hacking into an Internet-connected home PC without a warrant violates the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. A hacker uploaded a file to a child porn newsgroup that contained the SubSeven virus, which the hacker used to remotely search the computers of anyone who downloaded the file. The hacker then sent anonymous tips to law enforcement officials alerting them to child porn files the hacker had found on people’s PCs.More on this story here.
ANTI-TERRORIST POLICE CAN START WIRETAPPING
In an opinion overturning a May decision by the ultra-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the three-judge panel said the expanded wiretap guidelines sought by Attorney-General John Ashcroft under the new USA Patriot Act law do not violate the Constitution.More on this story here.
BUSH ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL DEFENDS TREATMENT OF CIVIL LIBERTIES
Assistant US Attourney General Chertoff says Americans need to make a distinction between constitutional rights and “what is simply custom and convenience”. The days of arriving just in time for a flight and breezing through airport security is one such dispensable custom and convenience, he suggested.More on this story here.
SWISS BANK SECRECY IS HERE TO STAY
From Weber Hartmann Vrijhof & Partners letter: “[Swiss bank secrecy] does not protect money launderers, criminals or terrorists. Those who assert otherwise are plainly wrong and often they are prompted by a hidden agenda of their own.”Weber Hartmann Vrijhof & Partners web page here.
Switzerland: A Brief Guide here.
Switzerland at a Glance here.
SWISS BUSINESS MORE COMPETITIVE
Switzerland 6th in competitiveness, up 9 places from last year.More on this story here.
In multilingual Switzerland, English is taking over.More on this story here.
Swiss banks set sights on Muslim customers.More on this story here.
SPAIN UNDERMINES GIBRALTAR FINANCIAL SERVICES
Constant rumors of money laundering cloud Rock’s future.More on this story here.
MANX FUNDS ZOOMING
DOUGLAS, Isle of Man: Funds under management up 45% this year.More on this story here.
BERMUDA SEES LITTLE THREAT IN NEW U.S. OFFSHORE RULE
HAMILTON: Reincorporation rules seen as “window dressing”.More on this story here.
NEW IRS RULES ON TAX HAVEN RELOCATIONS
The Treasury Department issued regulations that require corporations to notify shareholders and the IRS if they decide to move their headquarters offshore or are acquired by a foreign company. Under the new temporary regulations, companies that moved operations this year will be required to complete and furnish to shareholders tax forms reporting gains from the transaction. Until now, no reporting requirements existed for stock transfers in inversions and other taxable reorganization transactions.More on this story here.
CAYMAN REFUSES O.E.C.D. TAX DEMANDS
GEORGE TOWN, C.I. Island government refuses UK Labour request to agree to OECD demands for “tax harmonization”.More on this story here.
NEW ZEALAND IMMIGRATION RULES NEED CHANGE?
Government officials are looking at ways the $1 million investment category migrants bring into the country could be used to invest in New Zealand infrastructure or venture capital. Points-based system used to assess potential migrants’ residency had “fundamental flaws”, said Prime Minister Helen Clark.More on this story here and here.
Though New Zealand ranked 21st out of 28 countries in the OECD on a gross domestic product per capita basis, it ranked 11th measured by the OECD’s index of family wealth.More on this story here.
NEW CANADIAN LAWS IMPACT EXPATRIATES
“The introduction of the Permanent Resident Card and the new Tax Treaties with the UAE and Kuwait should be considered very seriously by those [Canadian] permanent residents who have not taken all of the important steps to establish their physical presence in Canada and/or who have not been entirely forthright in their disclosure to tax and immigration authorities.”Discussion here.
FAMILY TIES DRAW AMERICANS TO DUAL CITIZENSHIP
US citizens with Irish ancestry reach across the Atlantic to qualify as Irish citizens, gaining a 2nd passport and EU freedom.More on this story here.
New Philippine law allows dual citizenship for millions.More on this story here.
Is the Philippines worth the risk for investors?More on this story here.
SINGAPORE-U.S. TRADE AGREEMENT PENDING
City-state talks on US banks, law firms access to do business.More on this story here.
U.S. LIFTS NIUE ADVISORY
Based on Pacific island’s improved anti-money laundering laws.More on this story here.
What is and where is Niue?Fact book here.
OFFSHORE TRAVELERS INFORMATION
US Dept. of State Travel Advisory here.
National Center for Infectious Diseases Travelers’ Health here.
U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office home page here.
Information and assistance for Canadians abroad here.
Australian Government travel link here.
Kroll Security Services home page here.
WHAT DO WEALTHY EUROPEAN INVESTORS WANT?
New survey gives facts and figures on EU investors and their goals.More on this story here.
NEW GERMAN TAXES HURT ECONOMY
Haven’t were heard this story before?: Socialist higher taxes imperil already weak national economy.More on this story here.
LATIN AMERICAN HOPES FADING
Latin American economies were once again looking bleak. Inability to complete the reform process and some reforms simply going off the rails did not help. Only Chile stuck with its reforms until the benefits went beyond Latin America’s grasping political class.More on this story here.
ISRAELI TAX REFORMS SCARE FOREIGN INVESTORS
Israeli tax consultants are scaring foreign investors about the implications of the tax reform and persuading them to exit investments in Israel, charged the chairman of the committee that engineered the reform.More on this story here.
IRELAND EYES STALLION TAX
DUBLIN: Lucrative stallion tax exemption in Ireland is threatened.More on this story here.
NIGERIAN SCAM COMES TO VIRGINIA
“They are sending out millions of these e-mails from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Spain and even Canada,” said a Secret Service agent. The basic scheme is always the same: The recipient is asked to pay some upfront costs and to provide a bank-account number. Inevitably, those who cooperate find their own bank accounts drained.More on this story here.
CORPORATE ESPIONAGE LIVES ON
Cold war spies now work for multinational corporations.More on this story here.
HONG KONG: RICH OR POOR?
The city’s deflationary economy (consumer prices have fallen for 48 straight months) is producing a widening income disparity between those at the top, often those who made their wealth before the economic and property collapse since 1997, and those at the bottom, or falling towards it: the unemployed and those who once thought they were the new middle class, but who are now stuck with mortgages worth less than their homes.More on this story here.
AL GORE IS ON THE RIGHT SIDE, FOR ONCE
Former VP and would be president says the Bush government had undertaken the “most systematic invasion of privacy of every American citizen that has ever been taken in this country” and that “They have now taken the most fateful step in the direction of that Big Brother nightmare that any president has ever allowed to occur”.More on this story here.
Control freaks are winning the financial privacy battle.More on this story here.
Welcome to the Police State. Now shut up and do as you’re told.Commentary here.
CAN ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING BE A CRIME?
Employee wrongly arrested by the FBI due to a bank’s mistake won a $1.15 million award after a finding that Wells Fargo had made the mistake that led to her arrest. The issue was the mistaken non-filing of a cash transfer report. Story illuminates how the anti-money laundering frenzy has not only turned bankers into government spies, but subservient toadies who suck up in fright before the FBI.More on this story here.
For all the voluminous and very costly anti-money laundering laws, they actually accomplish very little.“Money Laundering is a Growth Industry” report here.
LIECHTENSTEIN’S BUSINESSES NOT OPTIMISTIC
VADUZ: And locals see no improvement in sight. The Principality has a new embassy and ambassador in Washington, DC.More on this story here and here.
MYSTERY IN MONACO
US nurse on trial for fire death of billionaire reclusive banker Edmond Safra in 1999. Several mysteries surrounding the fire remain unsolved.More on this story here and here.
UPDATE: SWISS-E.U. TALKS ON TAXES
Stalemate continues in European Union talks.More on this story here.
Swiss secrecy protects accounts from Spanish HSBC probe.More on this story here.
ISLE OF MAN BLOWS WITH WINDS OF CHANGE
DOUGLAS: Small tax haven works to please EU neighbors and US.More on this story here.
JERSEY urged to establish Brussels base. Can the small (ex?) tax-haven carry on in splendid isolation, or should it think about some kind of structured formal relationship with the EU?More on this story here.
ANGLO-IRISH BANK SUBSIDIARY BUYS MANX TRUST COMPANY
Anglo Irish Trust Ltd. acquires Ernst & Young Trust Company.More on this story here.
U.K. LABOUR MAY TELL CAYMANS WHAT TO DO
LONDON: United Kingdom could force the jurisdiction to accept the information exchange provisions contained within the EU Savings Tax Directive, via an Order in Council.More on this story here.
BAHAMAS PRIVATE BANKING IN TROUBLE
NASSAU: Government warned not to appease OECD, US.More on this story here.
SOUTH AFRICAN ANTI-FREEDOM MARCH PUSHES ON
PRETORIA: Exchange controls, foreign investment restrictions, and a faltering rand. Now dual passport holders are told to stop using their foreign passports.More on this story here.
U.S. SPACE PROGRAM HIDDEN AGENDA?
US President’s Commission on the future of the aerospace industries comes to the usual conclusion - the industry deserves a subsidy. Is it the moon’s destiny to be an extra state in the U.S. Union, or a tax haven for the mega-wealthy?More on this story here.
U.S. THREATENS BANKING SANCTIONS AGAINST NIGERIA
LAGOS: Stop the fraud and money laundering or face US sanctions.More on this story here.
IRISH TAX COLLECTORS GETTING SERIOUS
DUBLIN: Seeking tax information exchange agreements with the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands to catch tax evasion.More on this story here.
ISLAMIC FINANCE GROWING
Increase of 15% annually in Islamic bond issues, banking.More on this story here.
HEDGE FUND FAILURES WAY UP
LONDON: Hedge fund failures soar to 13% so far this year.More on this story here.
USA PATRIOT ACT PUTS FINANCIAL ADVISORS IN LIMBO
16,000 state registered financial advisors are left in the dark.More on this story here.
U.S TREASURY’S NEW RULES ON ABUSIVE TAX SHELTERSHelpful brief on the new disclosure rules, plus links to PDF copies of the rules and related documents here.
STUDY: U.S. TAXES DRIVE CORPORATIONS OFFSHORE
The US principle of taxing the worldwide incomes of American companies, together with the various “quirky features” of the system, means that many American companies would benefit from re-incorporating in offshore financial centres, according to a study by two university researchers.Study summary here. Study itself (PDF file) is here.
PENTAGON T.I.A. PLAN DRAWS FIRE
Civil liberties concerns about proposed Total Information Awareness system grow. Spokesman for the Libertarian Party states “Unless this Orwellian project is dismantled, innocent Americans will suffer under the kind of high-tech, 24-hour surveillance that the Stasi and the KGB would have envied.” Defense Undersecretary Pete Aldridge claims it is “absurd” to think the Defense Department is “trying to become another police agency.”
Among the records that would be collected and combed through, Aldridge said, are passports, visas, work permits, driver’s licenses, credit cards, airline tickets, rental cars, gun purchases, chemical purchases, and those detailing events such as arrests or suspicious activities. “You’re looking for trends in transactions that are associated with some potential terrorist act,” Aldridge said. “And you’re trying to put those pieces together.”More on this story here and here.
U.S. government’s ultimate database run by a felon.More on this story here.
HOMELAND SECURITY IMPACTS YOUR LIFE
New security law to pervade daily lives; destroy privacy. Besides the data gathering and linking, implications of act include more latitude for government advisory committees to meet in secret, new powers to government officials to declare national health emergencies, including quarantines and forced vaccination. “We could see a situation in this country where you are going to have forced use of vaccines and no accountability for those who make them. It’s a prescription for tyranny,” says Barbara Loe Fisher, cofounder of the National Vaccine Information Center.More on this story here.
Internet providers could give the government more information about subscribers and police would gain new Internet wiretap powers under bill tucked into a section of legislation creating Department of Homeland Security.More on this story here and here.
SECRET HISTORY OF FBI SURVEILLANCE, LEGAL AND ILLEGAL
They have broken into homes, offices, hotel rooms and automobiles. Copied private computer files. Installed hidden cameras. Listened with microphones in one couple’s bedroom for more than a year. Rummaged through luggage. Eavesdropped on telephone conversations. It’s the FBI, operating with permission from a secretive U.S. court in a high-stakes effort pitting the FBI against the world’s spies and terrorists.
An FBI memo that recently surfaced said agents in early 2000 illegally videotaped suspects, intercepted e-mails without court permission and recorded the wrong phone conversations.More on this story here and here.
|Previous||News Digest Index||Next|
|Back to top|