Posts Tagged ‘Blackmoney’
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) was founded in 1997.
Its mission is to expose the polluting industries, transnational crime networks, rogue states, and the actions of powerful figures in business and government.
For details Link is provided at the end of the post.
Most of us know that ill-gotten wealth by all and sundry, which includes lawyers, Doctors, Business houses and of course Politicians.
Thanks to a series of mind-boggling scams in India, like 2G,ISRO, CWG,Maharashtra Irrigation,Helicopter and the forerunner Bofors, even a barely literate person knows that the money is being kept in Swiss Banks and that these banks are very secretive about disclosing the identities of their Customers.
What many may not know is the fact that there are countries which house these Funds under greater secrecy than the Swiss Banks.
- San Marino
Non-sovereign jurisdictions commonly labelled as tax havens include:
- Campione d’Italia, Italy
- Jebel Ali Free Zone, United Arab Emirates
- Labuan, Malaysia
- Curaçao (Netherlands)
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Isle of Man
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Alaska, United States
- Delaware, United States
- Florida, United States
- Nevada, United States
- Texas, United States
- South Dakota, United States
- United States Virgin Islands (United States)
- Wyoming, United States
- Washington, United States
- Note that the US is included in the Tax havens list
The funds are held in an Offshore Trust in these tax-havens.
The Company address will be a ramshackle building, it may house many such Companies(Trusts)
Detailed blog on how an offshore fund is created and operated follows.
Look at the Office of offshore Company holding Millions of Dollars.
ICIJ obtained secret files from these banks, Countries, Trusts.
The statistical highlights of the size of the Documents.
2.5 Million Files.
1,20,000 Offshore Companies.
In gigabytes, more than 160 times larger than the leak of U.S. State Department documents by Wikileaks in 2010..
86 Journalists from 46 Countries were involved in ferreting out the details.
#0 Years records unearthed.
- Government officials and their families and associates in Azerbaijan, Russia, Canada, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, Mongolia and other countries have embraced the use of covert companies and bank accounts.
- The mega-rich use complex offshore structures to own mansions, yachts, art masterpieces and other assets, gaining tax advantages and anonymity not available to average people.
- Many of the world’s top’s banks – including UBS, Clariden and Deutsche Bank – have aggressively worked to provide their customers with secrecy-cloaked companies in the British Virgin Islands and other offshore hideaways.
- A well-paid industry of accountants, middlemen and other operatives has helped offshore patrons shroud their identities and business interests, providing shelter in many cases to money laundering or other misconduct.
- Ponzi schemers and other large-scale fraudsters routinely use offshore havens to pull off their shell games and move their ill-gotten gains.
Who are exposed?
- Individuals and companies linked to Russia’s Magnitsky Affair, a tax fraud scandal that has strained U.S.-Russia relations and led to a ban on Americans adopting Russian orphans.
- A Venezuelan deal maker accused of using offshore entities to bankroll a U.S.-based Ponzi scheme and funneling millions of dollars in bribes to a Venezuelan government official.
- A corporate mogul who won billions of dollars in contracts amid Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s massive construction boom even as he served as a director of secrecy-shrouded offshore companies owned by the president’s daughters.
- Indonesian billionaires with ties to the late dictator Suharto, who enriched a circle of elites during his decades in power.
Tony Merchant, one of Canada’s top class-action lawyers, took extra steps to maintain the privacy of aCook Islands trust that he’d stocked with more than $1 million in 1998, the documents show.
In a filing to Canadian tax authorities, Merchant checked “no” when asked if he had foreign assets of more than $100,000 in 1999, court records show.
Between 2002 and 2009, he often paid his fees to maintain the trust by sending thousands of dollars in cash and traveler’s checks stuffed into envelopes rather than using easier-to-trace bank checks or wire transfers, according to documents from the offshore services firm that oversaw the trust for him.
One file note warned the firm’s staffers that Merchant would “have a st[r]oke” if they tried to communicate with him by fax.
It is unclear whether his wife, Pana Merchant, a Canadian senator, declared her personal interest in the trust on annual financial disclosure forms.
Under legislative rules, she had to disclose every year to the Senate’s ethics commissioner that she was a beneficiary of the trust, but the information was confidential.
The Merchants declined requests for comment.
Other high profile names identified in the offshore data include the wife of Russia’s deputy prime minister, Igor Shuvalov, and two top executives with Gazprom, the Russian government-owned corporate behemoth that is the world’s largest extractor of natural gas.
Shuvalov’s wife and the Gazprom officials had stakes in BVI companies, documents show. All three declined comment.
In a neighboring land, the deputy speaker of Mongolia’s Parliament said he was considering resigning from office after ICIJ questioned him about records showing he has an offshore company and a secret Swiss bank account…
- Hard drive’s 2.5m secrets (theage.com.au)
On black money in Swiss banks,Indian Government has been dragging its feet by saying that Swiss banking laws do not allow information to be shared with others on the ground of ‘Client Confidentiality’.
This is absolute non sense.
The Indian Government is to have an agreement with the Swiss Government
If the person has not declared his Swiss account in his Country of origin,
If the Government can declare the person to have amassed wealth by Criminal means.
If the Government brings in a complaint to the Swiss Government and the concerned bank,
then the Bank on receiving the deposit if it is being made after the complaint may notify the Swiss Government to arrest the person when he comes to Switzerland for claiming the amount.
If he refuses to come, then the bank may freeze his assets.
( in case the criminal act for which the person/information is being sought is not punishable under Swiss law, one needs to book the offender under an appropriate offence that would meet with Swiss Law-some times you have to tweak the law to get Justice)
What is needed is the Political will.
Now to the laws on Swiss Banking System.
The Swiss banker’s requirement of client confidentiality is found in Article 47 of the Federal Law on Banks and Savings Banks, which came into effect on November 8, 1934. The article stipulates that “anyone acting in his/her capacity as member of a banking body, as a bank employee, agent, liquidator or auditor, as an observer of the Swiss Federal Banking Commission (SFBC), or as a member of a body or an employee belonging to an accredited auditing institution, is not permitted to divulge information entrusted to him/her or of which he/she has been apprised because of his/her position.”
In order to sidestep this law, there must be a substantial criminal allegation before a governmental agency, especially a foreign one, can gain access to account information. Tax evasion, for example, is considered a misdemeanor in Switzerland rather than a crime.
According to the Swiss Bankers’ Association Web site, however, there is also a duty for bankers to provide information under the following circumstances:
- Civil proceedings (such as inheritance or divorce)
- Debt recovery and bankruptcies
- Criminal proceedings (money laundering, association with a criminal organization, theft, tax fraud, blackmail, etc.)
- International mutual legal assistance proceedings (explained below)
International mutual assistance in criminal matters
Switzerland is required to assist the authorities of foreign states in criminal matters as a result of the 1983 federal law relating to International Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. Assets can be frozen and handed over to the foreign authorities concerned. Assistance in criminal matters follows the principles of dual criminality, specialty and proportionality.
Dual criminality means that Swiss courts don’t lift the requirement of bank/client confidentiality unless the act being investigated by the court is punishable under the law in both Switzerland and the country requesting the information. The specialty rule means that information obtained through the arrangement can only be used for the criminal proceedings for which the assistance is provided. The proportionality rule means the measures taken in conducting the request for assistance must be proportionate to the crime.
International mutual assistance in administrative matters
Under these proceedings, the Swiss Federal Banking Commission (SFBC) may communicate information only to the supervisory authorities in foreign countries subject to three statutory conditions:
- The information given can’t be used for anything other than the direct supervision of the banks or financial intermediaries who are officially authorized and can’t be passed on to tax authorities.
- The requesting foreign authority must itself be bound by official or professional confidentiality and be the intended recipient of the information.
- The requesting authority may not give information to other authorities or to other public supervisory bodies without the prior agreement of the SFBC or without the general authorization of an international treaty. Information can’t be given to criminal authorities in foreign countries if there are no arrangements regarding mutual legal assistance in criminal matters between the states involved.
Swiss residents pay 35 percent tax on the interest or dividends their Swiss bank accounts and investments earn. This money is namelessly turned in to the Swiss tax authorities.
For nonresidents of Switzerland there are no taxes levied on those earnings, unless:
Swiss Withholding Tax
There is a 35 percent Swiss withholding tax on interest and dividends paid out by Swiss companies. So, if you invest in a Swiss company such as Nestlé or Novartis, then 35 percent of any dividends will be withheld as a tax regardless of where you live. The same is true if you buy bonds issued by a Swiss company. If you’re a Swiss taxpayer (or if your country has a double taxation agreement with Switzerland) then you can claim the tax back. Double taxation is when income is taxed both in your home country, as well as the country in which the income is earned.
EU Withholding Tax
On July 1, 2005, the European Union Withholding Tax came into effect to prevent residents of EU member countries from avoiding paying tax on interest earned on money deposited in foreign banks with very strong banking secrecy laws. The EU goal had been for all countries to disclose interest earnings to the home countries of their bank clients so that that money could be taxed. Several non-EU countries, Switzerland included, didn’t agree because it went against their banking privacy/secrecy laws. Now, bank clients who live in the European Union pay a withholding tax on the interest made by certain investments. This tax started at 15 percent and is gradually increasing to 35 percent by 2011. No exchange of information or taxes on capital or capital gains is levied.
If you want to pass on your account to your family (and you’re not a Swiss resident) you’re in luck because there is no inheritance tax in Switzerland for nonresidents. Your heirs are responsible for declaring the holdings to their country’s tax authorities, however.
- We recognize the necessity for an exchange of information between reporting offices (Financial Intelligence Units, FIU), as Switzerland would otherwise face the threat of a suspension of its membership in the Egmont Group, which would lead to unnecessary international pressure and reputational damage.
- The exchange of information must, however, be conducted in adherence to strict guidelines. For example, the information can only be exchanged in the instance of a concrete case, but not amongst all group members or beyond a specific case.
- Furthermore, the information may not be passed on to other authorities in the respective country, nor may the normal administrative and legal assistance procedures be circumvented as a result thereof.
- The Swiss Bankers Association will closely examine the proposal and will provide a comprehensive statement of its position on the matter during the course of the consultation process.
Money laundering is the covert introduction of illegally acquired assets into the legitimate economy with the aim of disguising their true illegal origin.
This may take place in three phases:
|Phase 1: placement|
|In this phase, the assets (primarily cash) are paid into banks and thus turned into bank money, or used to purchase assets that can be liquidated at short notice.|
|Phase 2: layering|
|The goal of this phase is to spread the money placed in phase 1. It often involves complex international transactions using, amongst other things, offshore banks and bogus companies. Another way to spread the money is via a myriad of confusing and seemingly unconnected transfers.|
|Phase 3: integration|
|The integration phase is when the assets are reintroduced into the legal economy, which may involve purchasing assets (e.g. real estate or precious metals) or shareholdings, etc.|
Money laundering is usually associated with drug trafficking or organised crime. However, there are many other crimes which may be predicate offences to money laundering, e.g. embezzlement, corruption, extortion or human trafficking, to name just a few.
What does Switzerland do to against money laundering?
Switzerland’s mechanisms for combating money laundering, which were established with the Agreement on Due Diligence (CDB) in 1977 and have been expanding ever since, today include provisions in the Swiss Penal Code (Art. 305bis and 305ter StGB), the Federal Act on Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in the Financial Sector (AMLA) and a corresponding Ordinance of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (FINMA Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance, AMLO-FINMA).
Swiss law is therefore broadly in compliance with the international recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The FATF report on the third country evaluation of April 2005 attested that Switzerland has a well functioning network of preventative measures against money laundering and terrorist financing. However, the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) did look into the implementation of individual criticisms that FATF experts had levelled at Switzerland’s anti-money laundering mechanisms. The resulting revised Anti-Money Laundering Act came into force, after the referendum period had expired unused, on 1 February 2009. The Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance was subsequently also revised, with the updated version entering into force on 1 January 2011.
The Agreement on Due Diligence (CDB), which is issued by the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) as a set of self-regulation guidelines and is revised and updated every five years, has since 1977 laid down the obligations of banks with regard to the identification of clients and beneficial owners. It prohibits active assistance in the flight of capital and tax evasion. The statutory bank auditors are commissioned by the banks and FINMA to verify bank compliance with this Agreement. Special investigators and a CDB Supervisory Board assess breaches of the Agreement, and offences are punishable by fines of up to CHF 10 million.
- Swiss banking secrecy: Don’t ask, won’t tell (economist.com)
The issue the government has been dodging,the names of Indians in Swiss Bank is out in the open.
* I have posted direct in my blog the same information minus the text as the image portion of the document goes off quite often.
In case the document is not visible please visit the link.
Find below the list of those who hold accounts in Swiss Banking Corporation.
All the names we suspected all along find their position here.
Rajeev Gandhi,A.Raja,Harshad Mehta,Sharad Pawar,Karunanidhi,Suresh Kalmadi,Kalanidhi Maran,Ketan Parekh and P.Chidambaram.
Rajiv Gandhi‘s name is shown as Rajeev Ratna Gandhi-probably to provide an excuse to deny the details.
Can some body let me know who is Chirag Jayesh Mohini is?
Also read my blogs Indian Black Money in Swiss banks and also Rajiv’s Millions, where the same Bank sent me an email where it indirectly hinted that the accounts are in existence.
Wiki leaks on Swiss accounts of Indians.
Asked if names of Indians holding Swiss accounts will be revealed in the coming year, he said, “yes”. Information about such accounts “which will affect India” will be revealed in the coming year, he said.
He said since Elmer was jailed and facing legal action, he would not like to comment on the issue at the moment. “For that reason, unfortunately I cannot speak about information related to Swiss accounts in great detail…we must protect our people,” he added.
The Australian whistle-blower said governments in some countries are “sucking out” data from e-mails and internet transactions and passing on this “economic intelligence” to companies like Walmart. He made some startling revelations about “hacking” and “hijacking” of data of unsuspecting people.
Assange maintained that NTRO, which he termed was India’s equivalent of National Security Agency of the US, was engaged in similar kind of surveillance under the cover of keeping track of “Islamic terror“. However, there were no known instances of NTRO sharing such information with private companies.
Assange said e-mails, transactions done through credit and debit cards as well as information sent on the internet, “go through the Pacific (Ocean) and US” and are intercepted in the name of national security and to combat terrorist threats.
“Part of this mission is to provide economic intelligence to companies like Walmart, Lockheed Martin and Boeing. They (security and private agencies) suck up this intelligence and use it for economic benefits,” Assange said. He, however, maintained that he did not have any proof of the beneficiary companies paying for this kind of information.
Also read my Blog on Swiss Bank Corporation.
- Details of Swiss account holders may be out next year: Assange (thehindu.com)
- Rajiv Gandhi Middleman To Main Player In Corruption. (ramanan50.wordpress.com)
Politicians form a class of their own.
Through out the world they are united in stashing laundering money along with crooked businessmen.
Unless ordinary Joe revolts this can not be stopped.
|Tax Haven, Investment Haven, Asset Protection Haven. What does it mean?|
|Exactly what is meant by the term ‘tax haven’? A Tax Haven is geographical area (nation, city, state, or zone, usually known by the term, “jurisdiction“) that levies a lower rate of taxation than average when compared to other nations and jurisdictions. Some jurisdictions levy no taxes at all, and most levy no tax on ‘foreign earned income’, meaning income that is earned outside of their jurisdiction.|
|To attain privacy [anonymity] as well as to attain a local ‘presence’ the most common practice is to use a paper interface by creating a corporation or IBC (International Business Corporation) in that jurisdiction. By forming a corporation in such a jurisdiction, we become liable to pay that jurisdiction the taxes levied against that corporation on profits earned by the corporation. If there are no taxes levied, then we operate our company at a distinct advantage to companies who must pay 30% – 40% rates of taxation. Many individuals also move a large portion of their existing assets to a tax haven jurisdiction. It should go without saying that in setting up offshore it is essential to do things correctly. There are qualified offshore advisors which can provide legally correct financial structures for those thinking of moving offshore.|
|Once our business and/or our assets are offshore, they can be so structured as to take good advantage of beneficial tax savings. They can also enjoy a greater degree of protection from monetary predators. Anonymity is an important attribute of being offshore; not all jurisdiction provide total protection to their clients anonymity.|
|Here are the rough overall criteria which more or less describe the basic advantages of a tax haven:
Foreign Source Income Is Tax Free
Many large U.S. companies use offshore subsidiaries and creative tax planning to lower their tax rates at the expense of the rest of us. As taxpayers and legislators wring their hands over missing budget funds, it is eye-popping to see where much of the money has gone.
The list of players using offshore tax havens to shift profits overseas reads like a Who’s Who among big businesses and banks. For starters, there’s Google, which has paid a tax rate of 2.4 percent since 2007 on its profits. Then there’s Goldman Sachs, which in the same year received a $10 billion taxpayer bailout and paid just a 1 percent effective tax rate on their profits. The “Big Four” audit firms, such as Ernst & Young, not only advise clients on tax haven strategies, but use them to also ship their own profits overseas. Most recent exposés give a frightening peek into the aggressive tax maneuvering of companies such as General Electric, Carnival, Boeing, Yahoo and Southwest Airlines. Official estimates by the federal GAOshow at least 83 percent of the largest 100 companies have created offshore subsidiaries in places like the Cayman Islands that are officially listed as tax havens.
Offshore tax havens cost the Treasury over $100 billion per year. It’s the equivalent of a massive annual bailout for America’s largest, and often times, least scrupulous corporations. We should never have tolerated it and can no longer afford it.
Rampant tax avoidance by corporations is not even good for business. Capitalism works best when companies thrive based on their efficiency and capacity to innovate; not based on the number and aggressiveness of their tax lawyers.
Curiously, some of the most vocal defenders of tax havens seem to forget about the lost revenue while issuing strong warnings about the size of our deficit. For instance, John Castellani, president of the Roundtable, a vocal critic of large deficits calls closing tax haven loopholes, “the wrong idea at the wrong time for the wrong reasons.” For those who oppose reform, the shifting of tax burdens onto already struggling taxpayers and small businesses doesn’t even seem to deserve a shoulder shrug.