Links May 6
May 6 - The African Tax Administration Forum will coordinate a groundbreaking investigation of the SABMiller’s transfer pricing strategies in South Africa, Ghana, Zambia, Tanzania and Mauritius. “This unprecedented initiative marks a new era in which rampant tax avoidance by multinationals in developing countries will come under much closer scrutiny, both from tax authorities and from campaigners."
Greed Inc: A special investigation into pollution, dubious tax practices and exploitation of African workers at Glencore Daily Mail
May 4 - More on the Glencore story, which we've been blogging and linking. "While the rich seams of copper that lie deep in the ground beneath Mufulira have helped to make Swiss-based Glencore the largest and wealthiest commodities trader in the world, the African townspeople are still struggling to get by on just a few dollars a day." See Zambian tax cheating complaint filed at OECD.
Glencore Offers Stiff Competition for Goldman, Morgan Stanley Barron's
May - This month Glencore plans to go public. "But documents released by the secretive firm in advance of the IPO are already striking fear into some of the big American banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley whose commodity trading desks compete with Glencore... Glencore has operated with much looser regulations than Goldman and Morgan Stanley, and is able to use more leverage." And then further consider: How Goldman Sachs created the food crisis Treasure Islands
Philippines: Another son of Arroyo probed for tax evasion The Gulf Today
May 4 - Another son and legislator of former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is being investigated for a possible case of tax evasion. In March, the Bureau of International Revenue (BIR) filed a tax evasion case against Dato’s brother Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, also a congressman and his wife.
Argentina stages 2nd tax raid on agribusinesses Bloomberg Businessweek
May - Continuing a story we've been linking previously - the Argentine government has accused dozens of companies of hiding profits by using shell companies in offshore jurisdictions, evading about $72 million in taxes.
Hong Kong: China’s (and the world’s) offshore problem Treasure Islands
May 4 - Nick Shaxson on Golem XIV's widely-read UK economics blog, providing a fascinating series of posts looking at Hong Kong’s role in China’s economy and political system.
The real reason for Jersey and Guernsey foundations Tax Research UK
May 6 - Richard Murphy on talking to someone of considerable expertise on tax haven / secrecy jurisdiction issues about Jersey and Guernsey foundations. He pointed out the real reason for them: "A point you might consider – the main reason for the foundation law was to avoid fiduciary responsibility..."
New Zealand: A question of trust stuff.co.nz
May 1 - New Zealand is a jurisdiction for trusts, and this article poses some excellent points, such as: "A democracy is about people – serving all people equally. Trusts and shell limited liability companies work in the opposite direction to equality" - and - "Lawyers and accountants are pivotal in trusts and tax havens, and their enormous charges are almost always tax-deductible." See our blog In trusts we trust.
Russian Accounts Frozen at Credit Suisse Barron's
May 5 - Swiss law enforcement officials have apparently frozen the Credit Suisse bank accounts of the Russians alleged to have participated in Russia's largest reported tax swindle.