Friday, January 21, 2011

Links - Jan 21 - part 2

Quite a lot of links today. This is part 2

US cable claims Swiss linked Iran, Gitmo - Washington Post
Jan 20 - A leaked U.S. diplomatic cable claims the Swiss government linked economic sanctions against Iran and the resettlement of Guantanamo detainees to the tax evasion case against UBS AG in the United States.

U.S.A. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network FinCEN issues 2010 Annual Report -
Our overall aim is to build a system to combat organized crime and white-collar crime and to deter and prevent the use of secret foreign bank accounts for tax fraud and their use to screen from view a wide variety of criminally related financial activities, and to conceal and cleanse criminal wealth. --- Senate Hearing on Foreign Bank Secrecy June 9, 1970" The bold and italics our ours. 1970!! While FinCEN self-congratulates, it is evident that measures are overdue - in the extreme - to make tax evasion a predicate offense for money laundering.

Tax avoidance protesters UK Uncut to target Boots - The Guardian
Jan 19 - UK Uncut's street-based campaign will now focus on the UK pharmacy and retailer Boots. They will set up hospitals within Boots's stores to show what the National Health Service could have done with money it claims the company saved by relocating its headquarters to Switzerland.

Offshore companies that holed HMV below the waterline The Guardian
Jan 19 - VAT-exempt suppliers in the Channel Islands have mounted a significant challenge to the big high-street CD and DVD retailers. One entrepreneur states that he does not think of the VAT angle as being an advantage, because "...everyone does it. If you look at the main players … Amazon, HMV and Play … have got 80% of the entertainment market, and they're offshore."

Market develops for stolen bank data - Swissinfo
Jan 20 - The case of ex=banker Rudolf Elmer, showcases the vulnerability of banks to data leaks by employees.

Elmer's WikiLeak may open a torrent - Hindu Business Line
Jan 20 - “More people will follow suit. There are employees in banks not just in the Cayman Island (where Mr Elmer had been based) who know that there employers are engaged in criminal activities and would like to leak high level information but haven't been able to,” said John Christensen, director of Tax Justice Network.

Indian Swiss accounts now proven The Times of India
Jan 20 - It's now proven there are Indian acounts with almost trillions stashed away in Swiss bank acounts. There is global pressure for India to act and nail those who've stashed away billions in secret Swiss accounts. John Christiansen, director of Tax Justice Network - says India can do a lot more if it wants to get back Indian money in Swiss accounts.

Criticised author responds to Cayman Finance chairman - Cayman 27
Jan 20 - After being branded an 'imbecile', TJN's Nicholas Shaxson points out on Cayman TV "There is no democratic accountability on the part of the people being affected. That's probably the most fundamental part about it". Good that they allowed right of response. See also A riveting, gobsmacking indictment - more praise for Treasure Islands

The mess we're in - Bermuda Royal Gazette
Jan 20 - Report from Bermuda, stating "Pressure on “tax havens”,... and other regulatory matters have resulted in a stream of international companies relocating to places like Luxembourg, Ireland and especially Switzerland while Bermuda is a less attractive domicile for new incorporations." This is a global system of abuse and needs to be tackled as such.

High Tide: From New York Area Mob Sweeps to Elmer's new arrest - WSJ Blog Corruption
Jan 20 - A roundup of corruption-related news from Dow Jones and other sources.


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