OffshoreAlert
Daily news, documents and intelligence about Offshore Financial Centers and those who conduct business in them that you will not find anywhere else.

'Reporters Without Borders' - You can't be serious!

The France-based 'Reporters Without Borders' has just released its ' 2016 World Press Freedom Index ', which purports to measure the "level of freedom of information in 180 countries", and, not for the first time with this annual index, I question whether any of those who came up with the rankings have ever done any serious investigative journalism, so bizarre are they.Since OffshoreAlert was launched in 1997, I've investigated serious financial crime in many of the world's countries and I can say that, hands down, the USA is not only the most transparent by a country mile (e.g. PACER...

'The Panama Papers': My Initial Take

First off: the fact that a person living in one of the world's major countries has an account in an offshore jurisdiction is not, in and of itself, evidence of illegal activity. An accuser needs corroborating evidence before making that leap.Having said that: It's undoubtedly suspicious and with an offshore jurisdiction as overtly seedy and lawless as Panama, I'd go so far as to describe it as 'highly suspicious'. That's just common sense.If you're hungry and the nearest restaurant is 50 yards away on the other side of the road, you cross that road in a straight line (if it's safe, of...

We're Back

After ten days offline due to catastrophic damage to our primary and back-up servers, OffshoreAlert is back online and operating normally. The cause of the incident is under investigation.Given that we don't store credit card details or payment information of any kind on our servers, no financial information belonging to clients was affected. That information is maintained separately by one of the world's leading financial institutions.We could have rushed back last week. Instead, we moved our servers to a niche web hosting company that is widely considered to be the industry leader in...

Notice to OffshoreAlert Subscribers and Followers

Our site went down in the early hours of Tuesday, March 15th (EST).Please bear with me. Our website will be back up and running early next week. I guarantee it.It was initially unclear whether the problem was caused by a hack of our servers or a server hardware malfunction. Although we haven't yet completed a full forensic investigation, it appears to be the former and that an attempt was made to wipe out our company. I'm happy to say it failed. It simply put us off-line for a week while we move to one of the most secure hosting environments on the Internet to reduce the chance of this...

Bermuda Monetary Authority: Regulator or Promotional Agency?

A few years ago, the then head of enforcement for the Bermuda Monetary Authority was rendered apoplectic on stage at an OffshoreAlert Conference after being asked to name a single individual or legal entity that the financial services regulator had ever penalized or disciplined since it was established in 1969. It's difficult to come up with names off the top of your head when they number so few. Financial regulators in the United States penalize more financial miscreants in a typical afternoon than the BMA has in its entire 46-year history. For promotional purposes, the BMA's message is...

Nicolaas Faure & Drake Fund Advisors - An embarrassment to the BVI

The measure of any person or business is not whether they become involved in controversy but the actions they take when a controversy occurs.Within hours of OffshoreAlert exposing Belvedere Management Group as a "massive criminal financial enterprise" on March 17th, offshore providers John Cullinane and David Egglishaw did the sensible thing - they resigned as directors of Belvedere's Cayman Islands fund vehicle, Brighton SPC. In doing so, they minimized reputational damage, although they still haven't offered a public explanation as to why they became involved in such a crudely...

Argentum Fraudster Duane McGaw Resurfaces As Vancouver Restaurant Owner

When you're one of the principal perpetrators of an investment fraud totaling £98 million, of which at least £11 million was apparently diverted for your benefit, it's best to keep a low profile until the heat dies down and the liquidators have given up the chase.So what on earth was Argentum/Centaur Group litigation funding fraudster Duane McGaw thinking when he agreed to be photographed and interviewed for a magazine article about a fancy new restaurant he is preparing to open in Vancouver?The story about the scheduled opening next month of McGaw's new Japanese restaurant 'Q Shi Q' was...

'Our bank is licensed by the Pentagon' - An Interview With Two Fraudsters

It's not often that you get to hear conmen in action. Today you do. Click on the play button above to listen to a telephone interview that I conducted on July 2nd with Sam Zumbe and Jean-Philippe Grange, who have been trying to further swindle victims of a '5% per month' investment fraud conducted by London-based CWM via a BVI shell company, with funds going into a Cayman Islands bank. I'm on the left in the image, Zumbe is on the right.Using a combination of bluster (Zumbe) and charm (Grange), they try to persuade me that their Delaware-domiciled paper entity, Newport Enterprises Group...

Bermuda's Secretive Court System: Time to Emerge from the Dark Ages

Bermuda prides itself on being one of the most advanced, best-run offshore jurisdictions in the world. In many respects, that boast is deserved.However, in one key area, Bermuda is so far behind the times, it's embarrassing, with the jurisdiction long ago overtaken not only by all of its major offshore rivals like Cayman and the BVI but even unsophisticated jurisdictions that Bermuda looks down on, such as Grenada and Antigua.That area is Litigation Transparency or, in Bermuda's case, lack thereof.Members of the public are entitled to no documentation whatsoever when a civil lawsuit is...

Cayman Gov't in third-world attack on local newspaper

As someone who was thrown out of Bermuda in 1996 for no other reason than being an investigative journalist (or 'a nuisance', as the occupation is known locally), I'm well aware of how sensitive small countries are to criticism. Their economies are fragile and journalists are expected to be part of a jurisdiction's promotional effort, more than a purveyor of truth. The message to foreign workers is clear: If you don't like it, clear off. Over the weekend, the publisher of Cayman's daily newspaper, United States national David Legge, did indeed 'clear off', at least temporarily, flying...

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