Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Vema - another freakish tax haven project goes awry

We have been pointed to a bizarre website proclaiming the republic of Vema, based on the so-called Vema Seamount off the coast of South Africa. This appears to be a submerged volcano, on which they plan to dump some sand, then build skyscrapers and all sorts of wonderful things.

It is a highly elaborate website - there is already, apparently, a King of Vema (King Peter Goldishman), a government in waiting, Veman Embassy in London based at the grand-sounding address of 1 Northumberland Avenue, Trafalgar Square (an address which appears to be currently held by these people, notorious providers of supposedly above-board office space, a real-sounding address and phone listing); a national anthem, a unilateral declaration of independence from 2006 (backed, they claim, by an ICJ ruling on Kosovo which states that "general international law contains no applicable prohibition of declaration of independence" but which contains no reference to anything Vema-esque.)

We have seen this kind of thing many times before. Despite the strenuous website-building, we don't expect to see this translate into skyscrapers.

In fact, things in Vema appear to be going badly awry already.


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