"Forget Panama, Just go to Delaware"
Forget Panama, the US is one of the world's biggest tax havens
6 April, 2016
The single-story brick building at 1209 North Orange St. in downtown Wilmington, United States, looks bland and innocuous. But the building, home to the Corporation Trust Company, has an intriguing claim to fame. In the last few years, it has served as the registered address for more than 250,000 businesses, giving companies around the world access to Delaware's business-friendly laws.
We often say that the US is one of the easiest places to set up so-called anonymous shell companies.
Panama City. Photo / iStock
In some places [in the US], it's easier to incorporate a company than it is to get a library card.
A marquee of the Mossack Fonseca law firm, in Panama City. Photo / AP
Washington's independent-minded approach risks tearing a giant hole in international efforts to crack down on tax evasion, money laundering and financial crime.
[Americans] discovered that they really don't need to go to Panama.
Panama is new Switzerland of this world, US preparing for big financial crisis’ – Ernst Wolf
Washington is behind the recently released offshore revelations known as the Panama Papers, WikiLeaks has claimed, saying that the attack was “produced” to target Russia and President Putin.
Journalist and author Ernst Wolf talks to RT on Panama Papers
Selective Leaks Of The #Panama Papers Create Huge Blackmail Potential. “Smear People the U.S. Dislikes”
4 April, 2016
A real leak of data from a law firm in Panama would be very interesting. Many rich people and/or politicians hide money in shell companies that such firms in Panama provide. But the current heavily promoted “leak”of such data to several NATO supporting news organization and a US government financed “Non Government Organization” is just a lame attempt to smear some people the U.S. empire dislikes. It also creates a huge blackmail opportunity by NOT publishing certain data in return for this or that desired favor.
To conduct business, shell companies like Drex need a registered agent, sometimes an attorney, who files the required incorporation papers and whose office usually serves as the shell’s address. This process creates a layer between the shell and its owner, especially if the dummy company is filed in a secrecy haven where ownership information is guarded behind an impenetrable wall of laws and regulations. In Makhlouf’s case—and, I discovered, in the case of various other crooked businessmen and international gangsters—the organization that helped incorporate his shell company and shield it from international scrutiny was a law firm called Mossack Fonseca, which had served as Drex’s registered agent from July 4, 2000, to late 2011.
The journalists compiled lists of important politicians, international criminals, and well-known professional athletes, among others. The digital processing made it possible to then search the leak for the names on these lists. The “party donations scandal” list contained 130 names, and the UN sanctions list more than 600. In just a few minutes, the powerful search algorithm compared the lists with the 11.5 million documents.For each name found, a detailed research process was initiated that posed the following questions: what is this person’s role in the network of companies? Where does the money come from? Where is it going? Is this structure legal?
The filtering of this Mossack Fonseca information by the corporate media follows a direct western governmental agenda. There is no mention at all of use of Mossack Fonseca by massive western corporations or western billionaires – the main customers. And the Guardian is quick to reassure that “much of the leaked material will remain private.”What do you expect? The leak is being managed by the grandly but laughably named “International Consortium of Investigative Journalists”, which is funded and organised entirely by the USA’s Center for Public Integrity. Their funders include
Rockefeller Family Fund
W K Kellogg Foundation
Open Society Foundation (Soros)