Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Liechtenstein, witness protection, and the Mafia

A mysterious website has issued a US$7-million bounty for a now-famous whistleblower, Henirich Kieber, who recently broke open the supposedly impregnable bank secrecy of the tax haven of Liechtenstein, which for years has helped itself to other nations' tax dollars and taxable incomes and now seems to feel affronted when other nations find out about the crimes that it has facilitated.

This story in the Globe and Mail has more details. The story is worth reading, for it gives a flavour of the dark and sinister nature of the forces of secrecy that suffuse and support the tax haven world:

"In an e-mail exchange, an administrator with the website who signed off as "Tom," told The Globe and Mail that many interested parties are trying to track down Mr. Kieber. . . . "Kieber is not able to live with his new identity. He makes great mistakes, still keeping contact to the members of his family. In the end, he will lose his liberty because of that," the administrator said in one e-mail. "Kieber is a very difficult problem for Liechtenstein, and the preparation for his capture and his repatriation to Liechtenstein must be made without any publicity. Without the press and spectators. In addition, another wealthy circle of persons is interested in Kieber."

The lawyer Jack Blum, who is a senior adviser to TJN, speculated that the creators of the website might be on-line and communicating with journalists because they're "fishing," the Globe and Mail reported. "It's letting everyone out there know that the reward exists, that's why you do it," he said. "I don't think that's a kid on his computer."

We are delighted to hear, as Bloomberg reports, that a U.S. Senate committee headed by the crime-fighting Carl Levin has issued subpoenas in connection with its investigation into alleged tax evasion by U.S. citizens with accounts at Liechtenstein banks. He has not said whether they were issued to any banks or individuals, how many were issued and when they were sent.

Blum said that Kieber is now in "deep witness protection" - a state of affairs that is highly reminiscent of those who have spoken out against the Mafia. This similarity is by no means coincidental: when confronting tax havens stuffed with criminal money, and with groups like this vengeful "wealthy circle of persons" this is exactly what we are dealing with.


Anonymous Mexican Mafia said...

The mexican mafia can get anywhere >.<

1:38 pm  

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