The Secret List of Off-Shore-Companies, Persons and Adresses, Part 175, US VIRGIN ISLANDS,

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The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists: OECD’s plan to end bank secrecy

By Hamish Boland-Rudder

Despite coming with news that more than €37 billion worth of hidden wealth has been revealed in transparency drives, the announcement of a new financial information exchange scheme was greeted with skepticism by activist groups this week.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published full details of its global Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters on Monday, which has been under development for months as part of an international drive for more transparency in the banking sector.

The standard provides a framework for governments to obtain detailed account information from their financial institutions and share it annually with other jurisdictions.

It would include sharing information about who owns the account, and the amount of money in the account, to help governments fight tax fraud and evasion.

“[This] launch moves us closer to a world in which tax cheats have nowhere left to hide,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria in a statement.

The OECD said more than 65 countries and jurisdictions, including Switzerland, Luxembourg and Singapore, have already publicly committed to implementation of the new standard, with many looking to have structures in place by 2017. But other financial centers, such as Dubai and Panama have indicated they will resist any global push for greater transparency.

And the response so far from transparency activist groups has been mixed at best, as a number questioned the OECD’s commitment to including developing nations in the framework.

While Global Financial Integrity’s Heather Lowe welcomed the plan as a “successful and important step forward” she said the “real test will be whether the standards create a functioning and effective system … and whether that system is truly global, with low income countries permitted and willing to participate.”

The Tax Justice Network went a step further in their criticism of the OECD’s standard, and accused the organization of missing a “golden opportunity to make a real dent in the fight against corruption and tax evasion.”

“Yet again, the OECD has flunked an opportunity to rid the world of the curse of tax havenry,” said Tax Justice Network’s Markus Meinzer in a statement.

One of their primary criticisms is that developing countries will be forced to collect and provide information – a process that can be prohibitively costly and difficult – in order to take part in the scheme.

Tax havens, on the other hand, will have to provide information but can elect not to receive any in return.

“This does not reflect well on an organization whose membership includes so many of the world-leading tax havens,” Meinzer said.

The Financial Transparency Coalition was scathing in its analysis, attacking not only a perceived disregard of developing countries, but also the very publication and cost of the OECD’s report itself.

“Accessing the document is a perfect illustration of why this process needs to include low income countries from the start; it costs $73 to download the document—not an insignificant sum for a cash-strapped government, and a prohibitive amount for a citizen watchdog group,” said Porter McConnell, Manager of the Financial Transparency Coalition.

“It’s hardly a convincing sign that the automatic exchange standard is ‘ready for implementation’ or open to everyone.”

British aid organization Christian Aid was similarly unimpressed, and said the standard as it currently reads not only opened a number of loopholes for tax havens to exploit (including unequal standards for how information is shared), but also neglected to include mechanisms that would make the process easier to implement in developing nations.

“Since the move to automatic information exchange began we have heard rumors that some offshore centers are focusing their attentions on developing countries, knowing that they will be/can be excluded from such developments, and so provide a source of continued business profiting from tax evasion,” said Christian Aid’s economic adviser Joseph Stead.

As part of the publication of the standard, OECD released analysis which found more than 500,000 taxpayers from around the world have voluntarily disclosed hidden income and wealth to their relevant national tax authority since 2009, often taking advantage of reduced penalties to taxpayers who admitted having overseas accounts. The OECD said voluntary disclosure schemes have helped countries identify more than €37 billion in assets hidden overseas.

The information exchange standard has been released with a call for public comment to be submitted to the OECD by September 12. The standard will then be presented to the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Australia in late September ahead of the full G20 Summit in November.

Subscribe to The ICIJ Global Muckraker by email or get the RSS feed

Despite coming with news that more than €37 billion worth of hidden wealth has been revealed in transparency drives, the announcement of a new financial information exchange scheme was greeted with skepticism by activist groups this week.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published full details of its global Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters on Monday, which has been under development for months as part of an international drive for more transparency in the banking sector.

The standard provides a framework for governments to obtain detailed account information from their financial institutions and share it annually with other jurisdictions.

It would include sharing information about who owns the account, and the amount of money in the account, to help governments fight tax fraud and evasion.

“[This] launch moves us closer to a world in which tax cheats have nowhere left to hide,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria in a statement.

The OECD said more than 65 countries and jurisdictions, including Switzerland, Luxembourg and Singapore, have already publicly committed to implementation of the new standard, with many looking to have structures in place by 2017. But other financial centers, such as Dubai and Panama have indicated they will resist any global push for greater transparency.

And the response so far from transparency activist groups has been mixed at best, as a number questioned the OECD’s commitment to including developing nations in the framework.

While Global Financial Integrity’s Heather Lowe welcomed the plan as a “successful and important step forward” she said the “real test will be whether the standards create a functioning and effective system … and whether that system is truly global, with low income countries permitted and willing to participate.”

The Tax Justice Network went a step further in their criticism of the OECD’s standard, and accused the organization of missing a “golden opportunity to make a real dent in the fight against corruption and tax evasion.”

“Yet again, the OECD has flunked an opportunity to rid the world of the curse of tax havenry,” said Tax Justice Network’s Markus Meinzer in a statement.

One of their primary criticisms is that developing countries will be forced to collect and provide information – a process that can be prohibitively costly and difficult – in order to take part in the scheme.

Tax havens, on the other hand, will have to provide information but can elect not to receive any in return.

“This does not reflect well on an organization whose membership includes so many of the world-leading tax havens,” Meinzer said.

The Financial Transparency Coalition was scathing in its analysis, attacking not only a perceived disregard of developing countries, but also the very publication and cost of the OECD’s report itself.

“Accessing the document is a perfect illustration of why this process needs to include low income countries from the start; it costs $73 to download the document—not an insignificant sum for a cash-strapped government, and a prohibitive amount for a citizen watchdog group,” said Porter McConnell, Manager of the Financial Transparency Coalition.

“It’s hardly a convincing sign that the automatic exchange standard is ‘ready for implementation’ or open to everyone.”

British aid organization Christian Aid was similarly unimpressed, and said the standard as it currently reads not only opened a number of loopholes for tax havens to exploit (including unequal standards for how information is shared), but also neglected to include mechanisms that would make the process easier to implement in developing nations.

“Since the move to automatic information exchange began we have heard rumors that some offshore centers are focusing their attentions on developing countries, knowing that they will be/can be excluded from such developments, and so provide a source of continued business profiting from tax evasion,” said Christian Aid’s economic adviser Joseph Stead.

As part of the publication of the standard, OECD released analysis which found more than 500,000 taxpayers from around the world have voluntarily disclosed hidden income and wealth to their relevant national tax authority since 2009, often taking advantage of reduced penalties to taxpayers who admitted having overseas accounts. The OECD said voluntary disclosure schemes have helped countries identify more than €37 billion in assets hidden overseas.

The information exchange standard has been released with a call for public comment to be submitted to the OECD by September 12. The standard will then be presented to the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Australia in late September ahead of the full G20 Summit in November.

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Enthüllt – Geheimes Gipfeltreffen mit Putins fünfter Kolonne für Deutschland, Österreich & Schweiz

«Denkt auch an die Jugend»: Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, hier Ende Mai in der französischen Nationalversammlung. Foto: Keystone

«Denkt auch an die Jugend»: Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, hier Ende Mai in der französischen Nationalversammlung. Foto: Keystone

Gastgeber der Tagung waren der russische Oligarch Konstantin Malofeew und seine Stiftung Sankt Basilius der Grosse. Malofeew moderierte auch die Veranstaltung. Weitere Gäste aus Russland waren der Chefideologe der Eurasischen Bewegung, Alexander Dugin, sowie der bekannte nationalistische Maler Ilja Glasunow. Aus Frankreich kamen die Abgeordneten des Front National, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen (Enkelin des Parteigründers und Nichte von Marine Le Pen) sowie der Historiker Aymeric Chauprade. Aus Spanien reiste Prinz Sixtus Henri von Bourbon-Parma an, Anführer der katholisch-monarchistischen Carlisten-Bewegung, aus der Schweiz Serge de Pahlen, Direktor eines Genfer Finanzunternehmens und Ehemann der Fiat-Erbin Margherita Agnelli de Pahlen. Aus Österreich nahmen der Vorsitzende der rechtspopulistischen FPÖ, Heinz-Christian Strache, sein Stellvertreter Johann Gudenus und der Wiener FPÖ-Politiker Johann Herzog teil, aus Bulgarien der Vorsitzende und Gründer der rechtsextremen Partei Ataka, Wolen Siderow. Weiter anwesend waren Rechtsextremisten aus Kroatien, Adelige aus Georgien und Russland sowie ein katholischer Priester.

Presse und Öffentlichkeit wurden von dem Treffen nicht informiert, die Teilnehmer zu absoluter Geheimhaltung verpflichtet. Ein privater Wachdienst kontrollierte die Eingänge des barocken Palais. Selbst die Teilnehmer durften nicht fotografieren. Als FPÖ-Chef ­Strache am Konferenztisch ein Handyfoto schoss, wurde er von Tagungsleiter ­Malofeew sofort abgemahnt.

Stargast der Versammlung war Alexander Dugin, 56-jähriger Publizist aus Moskau, Mitbegründer der Nationalbolschewistischen Partei und Chefideologe der Eurasischen Bewegung. Dugin propagiert ein europäisch-asiatisches Bündnis unter Führung Russlands. Seine Ideen waren bei der Rede des russischen Präsidenten Putin nach der Annexion der Krim ebenso bemerkbar wie bei der Gründung der Eurasischen Union von Russland, Weissrussland und Kasachstan Ende Mai. In einer TV-Ansprache im April schlug Dugin vor, Europa auf friedlichem Weg zu einem russischen Protektorat zu machen und es damit vor Homoehen, Pussy Riot und vor sich selbst zu schützen: «Wir müssen Europa erobern und anschliessen.» Fest stehe, so Dugin weiter, «dass uns eine prorussische fünfte Kolonne in Europa unterstützt. Das sind europäische Intellektuelle, die ihre Identität stärken wollen.»

Lob für den Statthalter Putins

Ob Dugin damals schon auf Teilnehmer des Wiener Treffen anspielte? Etwa den italienischen Historiker Roberto de Mattei, der Erdbeben und Tsunami in Japan zur Strafe Gottes und den Untergang des Römischen Reichs mit dessen Toleranz der Homosexualität erklärte? Oder den Bulgaren Siderow, dessen Partei sich als Bollwerk gegen den Vormarsch von Türken und Juden in Europa versteht? Die Führung der Freiheitlichen Partei Österreich konnte sich wohl kaum angesprochen gefühlt haben. Dennoch hat auch sie beste Kontakte nach Russland. Tagungsteilnehmer Johann Gudenus wurde 2012 von Putins Statthalter Ramsan Kadyrow in Grosny empfangen und meinte danach, dass niemand von Kadyrow verfolgt werde. Im März 2014 reiste Gudenus als Beobachter zum international nicht anerkannten Referendum auf die Krim. Auch dort sah er «keinen Druck oder Zwang». Fragen zum Treffen in Wien wollte Gudenus dem TA nicht beantworten: Das sei eine private Veranstaltung gewesen.

Der 39-jährige Gastgeber Konstantin Malofeew machte sein Vermögen mit dem Investmentfonds Marshall Capital. Er gründete auch einen Wohltätigkeitsfonds zur Unterstützung von Spitälern, Schulen und orthodoxer Kirche. Wichtig ist ihm dabei stets die Vermittlung traditionell russisch-christlicher Werte. In einem Porträt der «Financial Times» wird er als «moderner Rasputin» bezeichnet, der über einen befreundeten Mönch direkten Zugang zu Präsident Putin habe. Russische Medien verdächtigen Malofeew, dass er die prorussischen Separatisten in der Ostukraine finanziere. Die Anfrage des TA wurde von seinem Büro nicht beantwortet. In einem Interview mit der russischen Ausgabe von «Forbes» bestätigte Malofeew, dass der selbst ernannte Premier der «Volksrepublik Donezk», Alexander Borodai, sein ehemaliger Mitarbeiter sei: Er wünsche ihm für seine weitere Arbeit «viel Glück», denn was jetzt in der Ukraine passiere, «muss jeden Russen beunruhigen».

Weniger beunruhigt war Tagungsteilnehmer Ilja Glasunow. Bei der Nachricht von der russischen Annexion der Krim traten ihm vor Freude «Tränen in die Augen». In einem Interview mit dem russischen Staatsfernsehen zeigte der Maler vor einigen Wochen seine Monumentalwerke russischer Helden und Heiliger und verkündete, dass niemand das neue Russland in die Knie zwingen könne. Putins eiserner Wille sei ein Wunder: «Ich spüre tiefes Entzücken über seinen unerschütterlichen Glauben und seine Taten für die Einheit des russischen Volkes.»

Treffen in Moskau geplant

Auch andere Gäste im Festsaal des Stadtpalais Liechtenstein lobten Putin. Ein Redner sah in Russlands Präsidenten den «Erlöser» und die Reinkarnation Alexander des Ersten. Der Zar hatte die «Heilige Allianz» gegen Napoleon geschmiedet, auf dem Wiener Kongress allerdings auch gedrängt, das besiegte Frankreich wieder in die Gemeinschaft aufzunehmen. So war es für die Tagungsteilnehmer im Jahr 2014 auch kein Problem, Vertreter des Front National in ihrer Mitte zu begrüssen. Der 45-jährige Aymeric Chauprade, frisch gewählter EU-Abgeordneter und Historiker, ist ein Intellektueller nach dem Geschmack Dugins. Chauprade vertritt die Idee eines Europa der Nationen mit besonders starker Bindung zu Russland. Die 24-jährige Marion Maréchal-Le Pen hingegen mahnte die vielen älteren Herren in der Runde, die Jugend nicht zu vergessen. Auch ein «Marsch des Lebens» durch Europa wurde vorgeschlagen. Damit könnte – so die Idee – der Vatikan zur Unterstützung motiviert werden.

Die Tagung der Nationalisten endete mit klassischem Konzert und Galaempfang (Smokingpflicht für die Herren). Das nächste Treffen soll im Januar stattfinden, vermutlich in Moskau. Der Organisator schlug die Krim vor, doch das lehnten andere Teilnehmer ab. Im ­Winter sei die umstrittene Halbinsel zu feucht und ungemütlich.

Revealed – FBI Law Enforcement National Data Exchange Contains 223 Million Records

Public Intelligence

The Law Enforcement National Data Exchange (N-DEx) run by the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division now contains approximately 223 million records on nearly two billion entities.  An FBI CJIS presentation from February 2014 posted on the website of the Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute includes detailed information on state and local data contributors including a tally of the total number of records contributed by state.

The FBI describes N-DEx as “a mechanism for sharing, searching, linking, and analyzing information across jurisdictional boundaries” including “incident and case reports, booking and incarceration data, and parole/probation information.”  Sypherlink, contractor involved in implementing N-DEx data sharing around the country, describes the system as being able to detect “relationships between people, vehicle/property, location, and/or crime characteristics.”  Slides from the February 2014 N-DEx presentation indicate that at least 34 states are contributing data to the system with Texas, Arkansas, California, Virginia and Tennessee each providing at least ten million records.  Texas has contributed more than any other state, adding more than 68 million records to the system, nearly three times its nearest competitor.  Federal agencies have added another 23 million records to the system.  According to an updated listing of N-DEx data contributors listed in the presentation, federal and state contributions amount to more than 191 million records in total.  However, other slides in the presentation brag that their are “approximately 223 million records” on “nearly 2 billion entities” stored in N-DEx.  It is unclear where the more than 30 million records not contributed by states and federal agencies listed in the presentation are obtained from.

A privacy impact assessment issued by the FBI in January 2007 stated that “during initial deployment” it was “estimated that the number of records in the N-DEx may be approximately 30-35 million records.”  In an article for Police Chief Magazine, a N-DEx “outreach liaison” stated that the system had “more than 145 million records” in November 2012 and “one billion searchable entities.”  N-DEx program manager Michael Haas stated in a October 2013 interview with Computer World that he hoped future developments will make the system a “gateway for access to other CJIS databases, including the division’s Next Generation Identification system, an updated version of its Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System database that contains wanted lists and arrest warrants, criminal histories, fingerprints, palm prints, facial images and other biometric data used for identification purposes.”  The FBI Next Generation Identification system, which has been in development for several years, promises to offer law enforcement around the country the ability to use facial recognition software and other tools to automatically search through vast troves of biometric data to identify suspects and conduct investigations.  Haas also said that the growth of the system has been expanding because CJIS has encouraged “states to submit records from prosecutions, court records, corrections, probation and other related areas” so that in addition to the “incident information” already added to the system, N-DEx will begin to obtain more data over time on “pretrial investigations, warrants, supervised release details, citations, field interviews and incarceration information.”

N-DEx Data Contributors Listed By State

Alabama 1,420,223 Maine 12,497 Pennsylvania 513,349
Alaska Maryland 226,110 Rhode Island
Arizona 126,165 Massachusetts South Carolina
Arkansas 24,153,042 Michigan 2,393,851 South Dakota 133,794
California 20,393,280 Minnesota 18 Tennessee 10,971,501
Colorado 184,338 Mississippi  44,830 Texas 68,793,268
Connecticut Missouri 141,658 Utah 16,654
D.C. 962,356 Montana Vermont
Delaware 1,085,708 Nebraska 173,877 Virginia 10,342,356
Florida Nevada  276 Washington 8,520,754
Georgia 1,020,907 New Hampshire West Virginia 34,578
Hawaii New Jersey Wisconsin 154,401
Idaho 578,174 New Mexico 35,076 Wyoming
Illinois 4,515,553 New York 1,189,118
Indiana 108,715 North Carolina State 168,569,227
Iowa North Dakota Federal 23,005,381
Kansas 2,108,188 Ohio 5,564,883
Kentucky 1,637,232 Oklahoma
Louisiana Oregon 1,012,497 Total 191,574,608

FBI-NDex-Overview_Page_31

Unveiled – Putin’s Pro-Russian Rebels Hand Over MAS MH-17 ‘Black Boxes’

Geetha Guru-Murthy presents this edition of BBC World News, recorded at 1500 hrs SGT on 22 Jul 2014. Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine have handed over two flight-data recorders from the downed MH17 plane to Malaysian experts. The handover came hours after the UN Security Council voted unanimously to demand immediate international access to the crash site. EU foreign ministers will consider more sanctions against Russia on Tuesday.

The following news report is reproduced from the BBC News online website @ http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-…

The Malaysian Airlines passenger jet crashed last Thursday, killing all 298 people on board.

Western nations say there is growing evidence that flight MH17 was hit by a Russian-supplied missile fired by rebels, but Russia has suggested Ukrainian government forces are to blame.

EU foreign ministers, meeting in Brussels, are thought likely to discuss expanding the list of Russian officials targeted by sanctions, but have so far steered clear of targeting whole sectors of the Russian economy.

Both the EU and the US imposed sanctions on Moscow following its annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of hostilities in eastern Ukraine.

‘In good condition’

Experts say the “black boxes” will reveal the exact time of the incident and the altitude and precise position of the aircraft.

They should also contain the cockpit voice recorder, which it is hoped will provide clues as to what the cause of the crash was.

The head of the Malaysian delegation at the handover in Donetsk told reporters that the recorders were “in good condition”.

The handover followed talks between the rebel commander and self-styled Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Borodai and the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Mr Najib said in statement.

He also said those talks led to the rebels agreeing to allow the bodies to be transported to Kharkiv and international investigators to access the area.

“In recent days, there were times I wanted to give greater voice to the anger and grief that the Malaysian people feel and that I feel,” he said.

“But sometimes, we must work quietly in the service of a better outcome.”

Pro-Russian rebels allowed a freight train carrying the bodies of 282 passengers to be moved from a town near the crash site to Donetsk on Monday.

The Malaysian experts and a Dutch delegation are travelling with the train to the city of Kharkiv, where it is expected to arrive later on Tuesday.

From there, the bodies will be prepared for transfer by air to the Netherlands where forensic experts will evaluate and identify them.

Meanwhile a UN resolution, proposed by Australia, was passed calling for a “full, thorough and independent international investigation” into the downing of the plane over Grabove on 17 July.

It also demanded that those responsible “be held to account and that all states co-operate fully with efforts to establish accountability”.

There has been international outcry over the way rebels have handled the situation, leaving passengers’ remains exposed to summer heat and allowing untrained volunteers to comb through the area.

All 15 council members, including Russia, voted in favour.

Sanctions threat

On Monday, three Dutch experts became the first international investigators to examine the bodies of the victims. They said the storage of the bodies had been “of good quality”.

The train’s departure came after international pressure on the separatists, who had been accused of limiting access to the crash site.

US President Barack Obama called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the rebels from hampering the investigation at the crash site.

He also warned Mr Putin that he could face additional economic costs if he fails to take steps to resolve the crisis in Ukraine.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said there was strong evidence that pro-Russian separatists shot down the plane with an anti-aircraft system known as Buk.

Russia on Monday again denied allegations that it had supplied such missiles or “any other weapons” to the rebels.

The defence ministry said a Ukrainian military plane had flown within firing range of the airliner just before it came down, but Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has rejected the claim.

The fighting in eastern Ukraine erupted in April and is believed to have claimed more than 1,000 lives.

Battles continued on Monday, with heavy clashes around the main rebel-held city of Donetsk, with reports of at least three civilians being killed.

 

The Secret List of Off-Shore-Companies, Persons and Adresses, Part 174, VIETNAM,

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Officers & Master Clients (104)

 

Offshore Entities (12)

Listed Addresses (96)

Der PUTIN/KGB/STASI/GoMoPa/Mucha/Porten-Witz des Tages: Täter, Terror & Trophäen

Bitterböse Karikatur in der Londoner „Times“: Putin mit seiner neuesten Trophäe, dem Cockpit der abgeschossenen Maschine