20th April 2019
EU TARGETING ART “FREEPORT” CUSTOMS WAREHOUSES
On 19th April, Forbes published an article saying that some of the facilities used to store things like fine art and wines, classic cars and other luxury items have informal ties to people involved in the Danske Bank fraud, namely those from Azerbaijan. It says that an October EU government study by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) shined a spotlight on them as a sort of de facto offshore bank account that could be used by anonymous shell companies to execute financial transactions with little oversight, and zero taxes. Geneva Freeport and Le Freeport in Luxemburg were the 2 warehouses cited in the report – both of them are partially owned by Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier, who used to be the largest private shareholder of the Geneva port until he sold his stake in 2017 after the government tightened rules on customs warehouses. He also has free ports in Singapore and China. Le Freeport’s other owners include French nationals Jean Marc Peretti and Olivier Thomas. It is claimed that owners of goods in Le Freeport can no longer use offshore companies, trusts, their lawyers, nominees or galleries to shield their ownership.
UK: FURTHER MEMBER OF A FORGERY GANG RESPONSIBLE FOR MAKING AND SUPPLYING FALSE IDENTITY DOCUMENTS JAILED FOR 6 YEARS
A news release from the NCA said that Ukrainian national Oleksandr Sukhoviy, 39, was arrested by NCA officers in October 2018. The arrest followed an investigation into an industrial-scale forgery factory operating in Stratford, East London, and run by fellow Ukrainian Sergiy Mykhaylov and which was set up with computers and printers capable of producing tens of thousands of documents. Officers recovered over 3,000 completed identity documents, 3,500 passport style photos and 300 Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) cards, as well as 40,000 blank cards and £15,000 in cash.
TRUSTS v FOUNDATIONS: WHAT ARE THE DECIDING FACTORS?
On 29th March, Carey Olsen published an article which asks which should one use, and is one preferable to the other? This article sets out to take a brief look at how trusts and foundations differ and the circumstances in which one might be used instead of the other. One advantage that foundations provide as an alternative to trusts for wealthy individuals from civil law jurisdictions where the concept of a trust is not familiar.
A GUIDE TO GUERNSEY’S NEW ILS HYBRID VEHICLE
On 26th March, Carey Olsen published a short guide to the world’s first hybrid vehicle for Insurance Linked Securities (ILS) fund managers.
21st April 2019
SUDAN’S EX-PRESIDENT OMAR AL-BASHIR INVESTIGATED OVER SUITCASES STUFFED WITH CASH
ABC News in Australia reported on 20th April that millions of dollars’ worth of cash in US dollars, euros and Sudanese pounds has been found in suitcases at the home of former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, according to a judicial source – suitcases loaded with more than $10 million in 3 currencies.
TUNISIA STRUGGLES WITH SCOURGE OF TAX EVASION
The Arab Weekly on 21st April reported that official figures indicate that there are only 1,600 inspectors assigned to the tax authority, one-quarter of whom do not carry out field inspections.
SPANISH REAL ESTATE NEW FOCUS IN MAJOR EUROPEAN MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME
The Real Deal on 21st April said that Spanish real estate has become the focus of the probe into the money laundering case linked to the death of Russian attorney Sergei Magnitsky. It claims that a portion of the $230 million at the heart of the scheme, which started in Russia and moved through bank accounts in other European countries, was eventually poured into Spanish real estate.