|Painting by Karl Kuerner|
In an exclusive work of enterprise reporting by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists revealed a cache of leaked documents, which provides names of politicos and others linked to more than 175,000 Bahamian companies.
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KEY FINDINGS BY ICIJ:
Millions of leaked files from two financial service providers, a private bank in Jersey and the Bahamas corporate registry reveal how tax havens around the world are used to hide riches.
Government officials and their families and associates in China, 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, Credit Suisse 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.