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Adéu a Nihil Obstat | Hola a The Catalan AnalystDesprés de 13 anys d'escriure en aquest bloc pràcticament sense interrumpció, avui el dono per clausurat. Això no vol dir que m'hagi jubilat de la xarxa, sinó que he passat el relleu a un altra bloc que segueix la mateixa línia del Nihil Obstat. Es tracta del bloc The Catalan Analyst i del compte de Twitter del mateix nom: @CatalanAnalyst Us recomano que els seguiu.
Moltes gràcies a tots per haver-me seguit amb tanta fidelitat durant tots aquests anys.
dijous, 25 d’abril de 2013
dimecres, 24 d’abril de 2013
dimarts, 23 d’abril de 2013
Arcadi Oliveres i Teresa Forcades han fet públic el següent manifest amb l'objectiu d'obrir un procés constituent a Catalunya.
Un manifest amb 10 Manaments, tan vells com el Sinaí.
1.- Expropiació de la banca privada, defensa d’una banca pública i ètica, fre a l’especulació financera, fiscalitat justa, auditoria del deute i impagament del deute il.legítim.
2.- Salaris i pensions dignes, no als acomiadaments, reducció de la jornada laboral i repartiment de tots els treballs, inclòs el treball domèstic i de cura no-remunerat.
3.- Democràcia participativa, reforma electoral, control dels càrrecs electes, eliminació dels privilegis dels polítics i lluita decidida contra la corrupció.
4.- Habitatge digne per a tothom, moratòria dels desnonaments i dació en pagament retroactiva.
5.- No a les privatitzacions, reversió de totes les retallades i potenciació del sector públic sota control social.
6.- Dret al propi cos i no a la violència de gènere.
7.- Reconversió ecològica de l’economia, expropiació i socialització de les empreses energètiques i sobirania alimentaria.
8.- Drets de ciutadania per a tothom, no a la xenofòbia i derogació de la legislació d’estrangeria.
9.- Mitjans de comunicació públics sota control democràtic, programari i xarxa lliure i desmercantilització de la cultura.
10.- Solidaritat internacional, no a la guerra, i per una Catalunya sense exèrcit i fora de l’OTAN.
Amb les adhesions videoestel·lars de:
Publicado por NO a les 7:08 p. m.
diumenge, 21 d’abril de 2013
"Toda la propaganda contra el CO2 y toda la política mundial de la decarbonización de la energía se basa en una subida térmica
"Cuando el próximo año, en el 2014, el IPCC publique un nuevo informe (lo hace cada siete años) ¿ qué dirán para camuflar la realidad, cubrir sus errores y seguir alarmando?"
Publicado por NO a les 5:27 p. m.
divendres, 19 d’abril de 2013
Observo el aspecto repulsivo, ignorante, matón, cermeño, beocio y capellán de los comentarios de publico.es y no doy crédito a que puedan pertenecer a personas de izquierdas. Aún hoy, remando entre los vómitos, no acabo de creeerlo. El error, mi incompetencia, viene de la juventud. Éramos de izquierdas, entre otras cosas, por la educación. Frente a la caspa vociferante y chusquera del franquismo y su insondable vulgaridad la izquierda era también una higiene y una estética. Nunca hablaríamos ni oleríamos como ellos y para eso habría de servir también la revolución. Esto era absurdo, lo sé, y por muchas razones. Puede que esa tierna izquierda antifranquista fuera así, limpia y alfabetizada; pero en modo alguno había sido así la izquierda republicana. Bastaba leer sus viejos periódicos. En ellos hozaban los antecedentes de nuestra Grandes y nuestra Torres, cuyos inspiradores deshechos, que nunca rebasan el nivel de los comentarios de publico.es, gozan sin embargo del atónito privilegio de aparecer en la prensa socialdemócrata. Por lo tanto no hay mayor novedad. El cajetín urinario de publico.es y de tantos otros lugares de privación conecta perfectamente con algunos modos y maneras de sus abuelos. Tradición y modernidad. Sin embargo, los padres, grupo al que pertenezco en teoría y con honra, no nos acostumbraremos jamás, ¡qué vachaché!, a reconocer a la izquierda entre la mierda./ ARCADI ESPADA
Publicado por NO a les 7:15 p. m.
dimecres, 17 d’abril de 2013
La ciència comença a donar respostes a l'orígen de l'homosexualitat, si més no de la homosexualitat masculina. Front als que pensen que la homosexualitat és una patologia o una immoralitat i als que creuen que és una lliure elecció, la investigació científica apunta a una condició biològica. Francisco Traver Torres, en el seu blog "Neurociencia-neurocultura", sintetitza en 6 punts l'estat d els investigacions.
1.- Que la homosexualidad es una condición heredable, si bien la heredabilidad de la misma es baja. La concordancia entre gemelos monozigóticos es del 57%.
2.- Que probablemente esta baja heredabilidad esté relacionada con la epigenética, es decir en las primeras experiencias fetales de exposición/deprivación de la testosterona.
3.- Que no se trata de una enfermedad sino de una estrategia de diseminación de variabilidad entre los humanos. A menos que consideremos que la zurdera es tambien un trastorno mental. En mi opinión la zurdera y la homosexualidad tienen muchos puntos en común en su heredabilidad y tambien en su aparente “inutilidad”. En los homosexuales se han descrito, sin embargo, ciertos “signos menores” que señalan en la dirección de algo biológico: la mayor incidencia del “ceceo” (una forma de dislalia), una forma extraña de deambulación (sin bracear) y una mayor incidencia de “neurosis” relacionadas con problemas de pareja y estilos de vida. Sin embargo, se sabe que no existe entre los homosexuales una mayor incidencia de enfermedades mentales y que sus rendimientos intelectuales están por encima de la media o son francamente superiores en tareas artisticas y su desempeño es similar al de los heterosexuales en todas las áreas.
4.- Que el conflicto nature-culture está resuelto en favor de la nature: la homosexualidad se da en múltiples especies animales lo que señala en la dirección de un menor peso de la carga ambiental de lo que supusimos durante la larga influencia del psicoanalisis en la psicologia.
5.- Que la homosexualidad humana se enrosca en la identidad sexual, cosa que no sucede entre los animales que carecen de identidad y que presta a su variante humana de sesgos perceptivos ideológicos, politicos y religiosos que tienden a oscurecer o a poner arena en los engranajes -no ya de los avances de la ciencia- sino la simple elaboración de hipótesis alternativas.
6.- No parece que la homosexualidad, al menos la masculina sea o represente una adaptación sino un subproducto de algo que es beneficioso en otro lugar.
Publicado por NO a les 12:40 p. m.
Últimamente hay una creciente ola de quimiofobia que pretende hacernos creer que por culpa de la industrialización nos estamos intoxicando todos. El problema es que cuando uno empieza a separar el grano de la paja y trata de ver la evidencia o los datos objetivos que apoyan estas afirmaciones es como tratar de coger arena con la mano abierta, se escurre entre los dedos y te quedas con nada. Para empezar los datos de esperanza de vida al nacer en España son demoledores. En el año 1900 era de 35,70 años y en el 1998 de 82,16 para mujeres y de 33,85 y 75,25 para hombres, por lo tanto ¿dónde está el problema con la industrialización? Yo diría que al contrario, hemos ganado calidad y esperanza de vida. No olvidemos que en 1900 el 50% de la gente se dedicaba a la agricultura y vivía en el campo, y no era una vida sana, ni regalada, y el que lo dude, le recomiendo que vea "Los Santos Inocentes" (milana bonita, milana bonita), o cualquier novela de Blasco Ibáñez.
"Yo soy un hombre que por imperativo laboral debe informarse del matrimonio de la monja Forcades (esta loca jaleada que dice que no hay que vacunar a los niños) con el capellán Oliveres, del que me guardaré mucho de pronunciar su nombre propio, pero no sus aritméticas: tiene contado que el capitalismo mata cada día a 80 mil personas, exactamente". ARCADI ESPADA
dimarts, 16 d’abril de 2013
Documents secrets obtinguts pel Consorci Internacional de Periodistes d'Investigació revelen els noms de desenes de milers de persones en més de 170 països que eludeixen les seves obligacions fiscals dipositant part de les seves fortunes en paradisos fiscals. Aquests són alguns exemples:
GeorgiaBidzina IvanishviliPrime MinisterDetails: Georgia’s richest man, with a net worth estimated by Forbes magazine at more than $5 billion. Was elected prime minister in October 2012, straight from the business world.Offshore business:Director of Bosherston Overseas Corp. in the British Virgin Islands (2006). The company is still in existence, according to BVI records.Comment: “For the reporting period of 2011-2012 Prime Minister Ivanishvili had no interest in the company you have mentioned in your inquiry and therefore there was no obligation to report it in his declaration. The Prime Minister takes these reporting requirements seriously and everything is done according to the law,” a spokesman said.
FranceJean-Jacques AugierPublisherDetails: Campaign treasurer of François Hollande for the 2012 presidential elections. They studied together at the prestigious National School of Management (ENA). He’s also chief executive officer of investment holding company Eurane SA, mainly focused on the publishing field.Offshore business: Shareholder — through Eurane SA — and director of International Bookstores Ltd (2005) in the Cayman Islands.Comment: Jean-Jacques Augier said he used the company to do a large investment in China in 2005. One of his partners in the offshore firm was Xi Shu, a businessman and a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a political advisory body in China dominated by the Communist Party but with representatives from other parties and organizations.
MongoliaBayartsogt SangajavPoliticianDetails: Became his country’s finance minister in September 2008, a position he held until a cabinet reshuffle in August 2012. During those years he attended international meetings and served as a governor of the Asian Development Bank, pushing the case for his poor nation to receive foreign development assistance and investment. He was at the forefront of encouraging foreign mining and other companies to move into Mongolia. He currently serves as deputy speaker of the Mongolian Parliament.Offshore business: Bayartsogt Sangajav controlled Legend Plus Capital Limited, an offshore company administered from Hong Kong but incorporated in the British Virgin Islands (2008). The documents show the company was used to open a secret Swiss bank account, controlled by Bayartsogt, just months before he was appointed his country’s minister of finance.Comment: Bayartsogt said the company and the bank account were set up as a syndicate by him and three unnamed business friends to trade in stocks. Both the bank account and the company remain in his name, and he did not declare them to Parliament, something he now describes as a “mistake.” He said he was considering resigning from Parliament over the issue.
RussiaOlga ShuvalovaWife of Russian Deputy Prime MinisterDetail: Wife of Igor Shuvalov, who has served as first deputy prime minister since 2008.Offshore business: Shareholder in Severin Enterprises Inc., which was registered in the British Virgin Islands and owned at least two other offshore companies, which in turn owned more companies. The dealings of one of the companies, Sevenkey Ltd., were laid out in a 2011 investigative article in Barron’s, which tied the company to her husband, who has denied wrongdoing.Comment: Olga Shuvalova did not respond to ICIJ’s requests for comment.
Valery Golubev and Boris PaikinGazprom executivesDetail: Golubev is the deputy chair of the management committee of Gazprom, with personal ties to Putin dating back to the 1990s. Paikin is the general director of a Gazprom construction subsidiary called Gazprom Sotsinvest that builds projects such as a $200 million stadium in St. Petersburg and an Olympic ski resort.Offshore business: Golubev held half of the shares of Sander International Inc., which was registered in the British Virgin Islands in 2008 and was dissolved later the same year. Paikin also held Sander International shares.Comment: Golubev and Paikin did not respond to ICIJ’s requests for comment.
ThailandNalinee TaveesinInternational trade representative, former government ministerDetails: In 2008, Taveesin was designated as one of four “Mugabe regime cronies” by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The OFAC statement read, “Nalinee Taveesin has participated in a number of initiatives on corruption and growth challenges in Africa and Southeast Asia while secretly supporting the kleptocratic practices of one of Africa’s most corrupt regimes.” This statement became a point of controversy in Thailand when Taveesin was appointed minister for the prime minister’s office in January 2012. She strongly denied the allegations, saying that her relationship with Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe and his wife is “strictly social” and that she is a victim of guilt by association.Offshore business: Taveesin and her brother Anuraj Mishra in 2008 bought a company called Hall Kingston International Limited that had recently been incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. They appear in the documents as directors and shareholders. The offshore company was acquired shortly after Taveesin’s first appointment to a political position, as secretary to the commerce minister in 2008. The company does not appear in her 2012 public statement of assets. Though the company still exists, according to records in the BVI, it is unclear whether it had to be publicly declared.Comment: Taveesin’s secretary Ms. Supavadee responded that “She [Taveesin] strongly affirmed that she had neither known nor heard about this so-called Hall Kingston. The information about her being [a company] shareholder is incorrect,” When asked if it was possible that Taveesin’s brother, Anuraj Mishra, was a shareholder of Hall Kingston International Limited, Supavadee repeated, “She [Taveesin] had no knowledge about the company and none of her family members were involved in the company.”Adm. Banawit KengrianFormer Deputy Permanent Secretary of DefenseBackground: Kengrian was appointed a member of the National Legislative Council after the military coup in 2006. He resigned as a naval officer in 2007 but was later appointed chairperson of a transportation committee under the National Legislative Council with a mandate to investigate corruption cases within the Ministry of Transportation that had allegedly occurred under the previous government led by Shinawatra.Offshore business: Kengrian is listed as one of many shareholders in the British Virgin Islands company Vnet Capital International Co., Ltd in 1998.There is no suggestion Kengrian avoided his disclosure responsibilities.Comment: Kengrian said he had bought a small stake in the company as a personal investment. “I have never gotten involved with company management,” he said. “As far as I understand, the company has changed status. It has merged with another company a while ago. I do not really have the details though.”
GermanyGunter SachsMillionaire author, photographer, industrialist and ex-husband of Brigitte BardotDetails: The famous Gunter Sachs is revealed to have had a vast and inscrutable wealth-hiding web, involving nominee directors, shell companies, and law firm trustees, to create multiple layers of secrecy in an already secret world.Offshore business: Sachs commissioned a private secretary to oversee his business dealings, who travelled to the Cook Islands to create two shell corporations, Triton Ltd. and another company called Tantris Ltd. The companies acted as trustees for five trusts set up between 1994 and 2007 – the Moon Crystal Trust, the Espan Water Trust, the Sequoia Trust, the Triton Trust and the Parkland Oak Trust. Sachs’s vast offshore web has been visualized here.Comment: Before he died, Sachs asserted he was being persecuted and the investigations stemmed from envy. Swiss fiscal law expert Andreas Kolb says the signing lawyers will face legal consequences over the inventory of Sachs’s estate, “if they can be proven to have participated in or incited to tax fraud”.
VenezuelaJosé Eliecer Pinto GutiérrezArmy GeneralDetails: Top commander in the Amazonas state, overseeing security in the Venezuela-Colombia border.Offshore business: Shareholder, director and secretary of Romana International Holdings, Ltd. (2003-2006) in the British Virgin Islands.Comment: Pinto Gutiérrez could not be reached for comment. ICIJ verified his connection to the offshore company through his identity card, a copy of which was included in the offshore files.
Myanmar/BurmaAye Zaw WinSon-in-law of Burma's former dictator Ne WinDetails: General Ne Win was a military strongman who ruled Burma during three decades, 1962-1988. His family became wealthy through business activities including forestry and fisheries.Offshore business: Shareholder of Compass Point Finance Limited (1996) and Sky-Link Communications Ltd. (1997) in the British Virgin Islands. The companies were transferred to another offshore service provider, but the records do not provide a date.Comment: Aye Zaw Win could not be reached for comment despite multiple attempts.
South Africa/ZimbabweMuller Conrad "Billy" RautenbachBusinessmanDetails: Zimbabwean millionaire with close links to the Mugabe regime. The United States blacklisted him saying he has helped organized huge mining projects in Zimbabwe that “benefit a small number of corrupt senior officials.” Rautenbach fled South Africa in 1999 after being accused of fraud. The charges lodged personally against him were dismissed, but a South African company he controlled pleaded guilty to criminal charges and paid a fine of roughly $4 million.Offshore business: Shareholder of Artemis Group, LTD. (2006) in the British Virgin Islands.Comment: Rautenbach denies U.S. authorities’ allegations, contending that they made “significant factual and legal errors” in their blacklisting decision, his attorney, Ian Small Smith, said. Smith said Rautenbach’s BVI company was set up as “special purpose vehicle for investment in Moscow” and that it complied with all disclosure regulations. The company is no longer active.
AzerbaijanIlham Aliyev, Mehriban Aliyeva, Arzu Aliyeva and Leyla AliyevaRuling familyDetails: Ilham Aliyev is the president of Azerbaijan and Mehriban Aliyeva is his wife. Arzu and Leyla are the couple's daughters. The Aliyev family, beginning with Ilham’s father, Heydar Aliyev, has held power in Azerbaijan almost without interruption since the late 1960s.Offshore business: Ilham Aliyev and Mehriban Aliyeva were directors of Rosamund International Ltd (2003) in the British Virgin Islands. Arzu Aliyeva was a director and shareholder of BVI company Arbor Investments (2008). Leyla Aliyeva was director and shareholder of LaBelleza Holdings Ltd. (2008) and Harvard Management Ltd. (2008) both in the BVI.Comment: Ilham Aliyev, Mehriban Aliyeva, Arzu Aliyeva and Leyla Aliyeva did not respond to ICIJ’s requests for comment.
AustraliaPaul HoganActorDetails: The Crocodile Dundee star is accusing Philip Egglishaw, his once-trusted tax adviser, of disappearing with $34 million he helped Hogan hide in offshore tax havens. Egglishaw is alleged to have ''absconded with or spent all'' of Hogan's millions.Offshore business: Carthage Trust was set up for Hogan in 2005 by Egglishaw after the Crime Commission and Tax office began stepping up their inquiries into the actor. Carthage Trust replaced the Quatre Saison Trust which was alleged to have been a vehicle set up by Geneva firm Strachans to enable Hogan to stream revenue from his Crocodile Dundee franchise into offshore accounts and avoid paying tax. Hogan disputes this.Comment: Hogan's US lawyer Craig Emanuel told Fairfax Media: ''For a variety of ethical reasons, I am not available to comment on your inquiries.''
United StatesDenise RichSongwriterDetails: Ex-wife of the United States’ most famous tax fugitive, Marc Rich, who was controversially pardoned by former President Bill Clinton on Clinton’s last day in office. She is a Grammy-nominated songwriter, having written chart-topping songs for the likes of Sister Sledge and Celine Dion. In 2012, Rich resigned her U.S. citizenship.Offshore business: Settlor and beneficiary of The Dry Trust (1992) and director of DTD Limited (2007), both in the Cook Islands.Comment: Denise Rich did not respond to a request for comment.
IndonesiaEka Tjipta WidjajaBusinessmanDetails: Head of Indonesia’s second richest family (2012), owns rainforest-clearing Asia Pulp and Paper and world's second largest palm oil plantations.Offshore business: Beneficial owner, through his Sinar Mas conglomerate, of various pulp and palm oil British Virgin Islands and Labuan offshore companies.Comment: Widjaja did not respond to a request for comment.
FranceBaron Elie de RothschildBusinessman from the Rothschild banking dynastyDetails: The guardian of French branch of banking dynasty built a web of at least 20 secrecy-cloaked trusts in the South Pacific between 1996 and 2003, some of which continued operating after his death in 1997.Offshore business: Internal documents reveal at least 20 trusts and 10 holding companies were set up for Rothschild in the Cook Islands, with typically opaque names including, fittingly, Anon Trust. The companies have a common shareholder called Mandalor Limited, an equally opaque company based in the Caribbean country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.Comment: Despite repeated attempts, Le Monde was unable to speak to Rothschild’s heirs.
JapanMarubeni Corp and Tohoku Electric Power Co.Trading and utility companiesDetails: Marubeni Corp., a leading trading house, and utility Tohoku Electric Power Co., used offshore subsidiaries to invest in an overseas energy firm, allowing returns on the investment to be shielded from domestic taxes.Offshore business: Tohoku Electric established a subsidiary, Tohoku Power Investment Co. (TPIC), in the Netherlands in 2002 to invest 3 billion yen ($32.6 million) in an independent power producer in Millmerran in Queensland, Australia. The utility funneled the sum to an investment arm of Marubeni, which was founded in Labuan Island in Malaysia, also a tax haven, through TPIC.Comment: While refusing to disclose their investment profits, Tohoku Electric confirmed that an agent had been contracted to operate on financial matters, saying “We concluded the contract in compliance with the law, and it was already in place before we made the investment (in Australia). And we have little knowledge of the background of it." Marubeni Corp declined to comment.
ThailandPotjaman Na PombejraFormer Thai first ladyDetails: Former wife of Thailand’s ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Potjaman and Shinawatra obtained a high-profile divorce at the Thai consular office in Hong Kong in 2008. Two years later, about $1.4 billion of Shinawatra’s family assets were seized after he was found guilty by the Supreme Court of corruption and abuse of power to benefit his family’s telecommunication company, Shin Corporation, while he was prime minister.Offshore business: Potjaman Na Pombejra acquired an offshore company called Premium Select Inc. (2007) in the British Virgin Islands, and soon after she was listed as the sole beneficial owner. The company was set up through the service of UBS AG Singapore.Comment: Potjaman’s lawyer, Somporn Pongsuwan, did not return several phone calls seeking information on the offshore entity.
FijiFred MarafonoMercenaryDetails: Ex-British SAS, he was involved in security work and diamond mining during the Sierra Leone civil war.Offshore business: Director of Hinterland Mining Brokers Limited (1997-2000) in the Cook Islands.Comment: Marafono passed away on March 27; earlier attempts to reach him for comment were unsuccessful.
FinlandItella OyjState-owned national postal companyDetails: In a 2008 move to expand its operations in Russia, the corporation acquired the leading Russian logistics warehousing service provider for around €200 million ($310 million). Its parent company was registered in the British Virgin Islands and still exists there.Offshore business: Shareholder (since 2008) of NLC International Corporation (incorporated 2005) in the British Virgin Islands.Comment: The director of Itella Logistics in Russia, Vesa Vertanen, said in an interview with Finnish State Television that Itella would dissolve the company in the BVI by the end of 2013 and transfer it to Cyprus. When asked why Itella had not dissolved its company in the BVI, Mr Vertanen said that it was very complicated to dissolve offshore companies and it takes time, a statement that was countered by the Finnish tax authority.
CanadaE.F. Anthony “Tony” MerchantTrial lawyerDetails: A former politician, he is married to Canadian senator Pana Merchant. He has been involved in a number of high-volume class action suits, including a $1.9 billion settlement with the Canadian government on behalf of native groups over abuse of students in residential schools. Merchant has had repeated battles with the Canadian revenue agency over his tax payments. He has also been disciplined by the Law Society for "conduct unbecoming of a member."Offshore business: Beneficiary (1998-2002), settlor and protector of the Merchant (2000) US Inc Trust (incorporated 1998) in the Cook Islands. His wife, Canadian senator Pana Merchant, is a beneficiary of the trust.Comment: Anthony and Pana Merchant declined to comment.
KazakhstanMukhtar AblyazovBusinessmanDetails: Ablyazov stands accused of embezzling up to $5 billion from a state-owned Kazakhstan bank in what British media describe as the biggest fraud in history.Offshore business: An individual later named in U.K. court documents as a front man for Mukhtar Ablyazov set up 31 companies in 2006 and 2007 in the British Virgin Islands.Comment: Ablyazov's attorneys in London did not respond to a request for comment. Ablyazov has denied the fraud allegations in the past.
PhilippinesMaria Imelda Marcos ManotocPoliticianDetails: Daughter of former Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos and at present governor of the province of Ilocos Norte.Offshore business: Beneficiary and investment advisor to Sintra Trust (2002) in the British Virgin Islands. She was also a financial advisor for a company in which the Sintra Trust was a shareholder, ComCentre Corporation (2002), and a “master client” for the M Trust in Labuan, Malaysia (2007-2009).Comment: Manotoc did not respond to a request for comment.
KuwaitSheik Sabah Jaber Al-Ali Al-Sabah and two relativesMembers of Kuwait's ruling familyDetails: Sheik Sabah Jaber Al-Ali Al-Sabah has headed the Kuwaiti Public Ports Authority. He and his brother are sons of Kuwait’s former deputy prime ministerOffshore business: He or his relatives are shareholders in two British Virgin Islands companies CIC Realty, Inc and Capital Investment Company Group, Ltd for seven years until 2002Comment: Sheik Sabah Jaber Al-Ali Al-Sabah did not respond to a request for comment
ColombiaTomás Uribe Moreno and Jerónimo Alberto Uribe MorenoBusinessmenDetails: Sons of former Colombian president, Alvaro Uribe. During their father’s eight years in office, they were accused of influence-peddling in two high-profile scandals, including in a case in which they acquired land in an area whose value skyrocketed after authorities granted it tax-free status. They were acquitted in both cases but prosecutors have started investigating new leads related to the land acquisitions.Offshore business: Shareholders of Asia America Investment Corporation (2008) in the British Virgin Islands.Comment: A lawyer for Tomás and Jerónimo Uribe Moreno, Jaime Lombana, said the company was created with the purpose of selling Colombian handcrafts abroad but the business never took off. The company was incorporated in the BVI because one of the partners in the venture lived there, said Lombana. The firm, he said, “didn’t produce any income.”
DjiboutiAbdourahman "Charles" BorehBusinessman and politicianDetails: One of Djibouti's most wealthy and powerful businessmen and a 2011 presidential election candidate. He is exiled in Dubai.Offshore business: Beneficial owner of Net Support Holdings Ltd (2007) in the British Virgin Islands and Value Additions Ltd (2007) in SamoaComment: Boreh said he uses his offshore companies to steer his many investments worldwide and to protect his assets from potential political instability.
SpainCarmen Thyssen-BornemiszaArt collector and philanthropistDetails: Former Miss Spain and widow of a German-Hungarian baron, she’s one of the world’s top art collectors. Her hundreds of works of art ranging from Van Gogh to Goya are exhibited in museums in Madrid, Barcelona and Málaga.Offshore business: Beneficial owner of Sargasso Trustees Limited (1996-2004) and shareholder of Nautilus Limited (incorporated 1994) in the Cook Islands.Comment: Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza’s lawyer acknowledged that she gains tax benefits by holding ownership of her art offshore, but stressed that she uses tax havens primarily because they give her “maximum flexibility” when she moves art from country to country.
UkraineDmytro FirtashBusinessmanDetails: Co-owns RosUkrEnergo, a partnership with Gazprom, the Russian natural gas giant. U.S. law enforcement officials and diplomats have linked him to arms and drug trafficking and to reputed Russian mob boss Semion Mogilevich.Offshore business: Shareholder and director (since 2007) in Group DF Limited (incorporated in 2006) in the British Virgin Islands, which became a holding company for Firtash’s interests in energy, chemicals and real estate.Comment: Firtash could not be reached for comment.
PakistanMoonis ElahiLegislatorDetails: Son of Chaudry Pervez Elahi, who until last month was Pakistan's deputy prime minister. The Chaudry family has had a powerful role in the country’s politics for the past five decades. In 2010, Moonis Elahi was accused of receiving illicit payments as part of an alleged land scam. He was later acquitted amidst what Pakistan's Supreme Court said was intense government interference in the investigation.Offshore business: Shareholder and director of Olive Groves Assets Ltd. (2006) in the British Virgin Islands.Comment: Moonis Elahi denied that he owns or controls Olive Grove Assets Ltd. He did not answer whether he had owned the firm in the past. ICIJ verified Elahi’s connection to the firm through the address listed for the politician in the corporate records, which is that of the Chaudry family residence in Lahore.
Saudi ArabiaHassan Mohammed and Fady Mohammed JameelBusinessmenDetails: Sons of one of the richest men in Saudi Arabia and executives in Abdul Latif Jameel Group, one of the world’s largest Toyota dealers, with operations in the Middle East, UK, Central Asia and China.Offshore business: Directors (2002-2003) of Costa Azzoura Limited (incorporated in 2002) and directors (2004-2009) of Hillbeck Limited (incorporated in 2004) in the British Virgin Islands. Hassan was also shareholder of Hillbeck Limited (since 2004).Comment: The Director of Business Development at the Abdul Latif Jameel Group, Farooq Vaid, said the Jameel brothers were not related to the offshore companies as directors or shareholders. He acknowledged knowing about the entities but didn't want to confirm any further details. “These are privately held companies and nobody has the right to know,” he told ICIJ. Internal records show Vaid was shareholder of Costa Azzoura Limited and shareholder and director of Hillbeck Limited. He is also related to five more BVI companies — in one case as shareholder and in the other four cases as director. The Abdul Latif Jameel Group address in Jeddah is mentioned in most of the company records obtained by ICIJ.MalaysiaMirzan Bin MahathirBusinessmanDetails: Son of Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, the longest-serving prime minister of Malaysia (1981-2003), who modernized the country under an autocratic rule. Mahathir Mohamad was accused of abusing his extensive political powers to enrich his family and key business associates. Mirzan is a prominent entrepreneur, with directorships in various companies in Malaysia and internationally.Offshore business: Shareholder and director of Utara Capital Limited (1997), Crescent Energy Limited (2003), and Al Sadd Investments Pte. Ltd. (2009) in Labuan.Comment: An aide for Mirzan told Malaysiakini and ICIJ that Mirzan could not answer questions because he was out of town.Raja Nong Chik Zainal AbidinFederal Territories and Urban Well-Being MinisterBackground: Prior to his senatorship, Raja Nong Chik was a corporate figure who founded and managed an engineering firm for 20 years.Offshore business: Raja Nong Chik is shareholder and director of RZA International Corporation, a British Virgin Islands entity incorporated on Aug 21, 2007, through Singapore. The company is a mirror of Malaysian entity Kumpulan RZA Sdn Bhd, a 1979-founded company dealing in real estate and equities investment. He set up the offshore entity with his father, Raja Zainal Abidin Raja Tachik, a number of his sisters and brothers as well as other family members. Most of them are also shareholders and directors of Kumpulan RZA Sdn Bhd.Comment: Contacted by Malaysiakini, the minister confirmed that RZA International was set up by his father, who will turn 96 this year, “for the purpose of holding legitimate offshore investments for the family.” However, the minister did not elaborate on the offshore investments made by his family through the company. He added that RZA International was de-registered in 2009. “The company was not used to obscure activities of Kumpulan RZA Sdn Bhd, and neither was it used to circumvent taxes or hide transactions overseas,” Raja Nong Chik said in an email to Malaysiakini.
Chia Tien Foh (Michael Chia)Business tycoonBackground: Chia is a prominent Malaysian businessman and the alleged ‘“bagman'” for Musa Aman, the chief minister and financl minister of the state of Sabah.
Offshore business: Chia has three offshore companies in which he is listed as either as director or shareholder. One of them was CTF International Ltd, with ‘“CTF'” seen as the initials of Chia’s full name. It was incorporated on April 18, 20067, in the British Virgin Islands. CTF International gained notoriety when it was named by whistleblower website Sarawak Report of being a conduit in channelling millions of ringgit to a Hong Kong account allegedly linked to Musa, who has denied links to Chia. CTF was de-registered in 2008. The other two offshore companies owned by Chia are Ravenswood Development Ltd and Ark Capital Technologies Ltd. In addition, Chia’s wife Yap Loo Mien and another woman, who is alleged to be his mistress, Yap Siaw Lin, also appear on the list as key shareholders in three separate British Virgin Islands entities.Comment: Malaysiakini contacted Chia through the address stated in his company registration documents for comments, but there has been no response.
ItalyFabio GhioniHackerDetails: Former head of information security at Telecom Italia, arrested in 2007 for leading a unit that illegally obtained data of 4,000 people, including politicians and journalists. In 2012 the Supreme Court of Cassation confirmed his 2010 plea bargain and his sentence of 3 years and 4 months in prison.Offshore business: Owner of Constant Surge Investments Ltd (2006) in the British Virgin Islands.Comment: Fabio Ghioni denied being the owner of Constant Surge Invesments Ltd. “The BVI? I don't know where they are located!" he said on the phone. ICIJ verified Ghioni’s connection to the BVI firm through the address he used upon incorporation of the company which is that of his personal residence in Milan. The corporate files also include annotations describing Ghioni’s occupation at the time.
BrazilClarice, Leo and Fabio SteinbruchBusinessmenDetails: Members of one of Brazil's richest families, which owns large steel and textile companies and a bank.Offshore business: Shareholders and directors of Peak Management Inc. (2007) in the British Virgin Islands.Comment: Leo Steinbruch told ICIJ that “Peak Management exists, is active, it’s been declared on its owners’ tax forms and has been duly disclosed to the Brazilian Central Bank as a Brazilian investment abroad.”
IndiaRavikant RuiaBusinessmanDetails: In December 2011, he was accused of criminal conspiracy by India's principal anti-corruption enforcement agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation. The accusation relates to a broader investigation of politicians, government officials and telecom executives in India for alleged irregularities in the award of cell phone frequencies to telephone companies. Ruia’s firm is disputing the charges made against him and others.Offshore business: Shareholder in one firm in the British Virgin Islands, Orion Worldwide Universal Corporation (2008). His daughter, Smiti, is a shareholder in two others. One of Ruia's flagship companies, Essar Power, has further BVI entities that are named in the ICIJ documents.Comment: A company spokesman said that of the eight companies registered in Ruia’s name as well as in the name of his flagship business Essar Power, five have since been liquidated. Three continue to be operational. “These companies were started as SPVs [Special Purpose Vehicles] to make investments and are in the knowledge of the authorities concerned,” the spokesman added.
MexicoDionisio Garza MedinaBusinessmanDetails: His family co-owns Alfa, a conglomerate with interests in oil, food and telecommunications.Offshore business: Shareholder of Vercors Private Limited (2005) in Singapore.Comment: Garza Medina did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for Alfa, of which Garza Medina was CEO until 2010, declined to answer questions saying this is a “private matter of Mr. Garza not related to Alfa.”
GreeceApostolos VakakisBusinessmanDetails: CEO of the retail conglomerate Jumbo SA, one of Greece’s largest companies.Offshore business: Shareholder of Karpathia Ltd. (2007) in the British Virgin Islands. Company transferred to another offshore service provider in 2009.Comment: “I have declared officially all without exception my transactions that should be announced in public, as provided by relevant Greek legislation. … One does not use a legal entity in order to hide the identity of the beneficial owner by using shadow names but to be able to complete a transaction in a straightforward manner,” said Vakakis.
JordanSuha, Omar and Aysha ShomanWidow and children of one of Jordan’s richest familiesDetails: The family’s father, Khalid Shoman, was — until his death in 2001 — vice-chairman of the Arab Bank Group, one of the main banks in the Arab world, founded by his father. Omar sold their share of the bank for about $375 million in 2003.Offshore business: Omar and Aysha are shareholders — jointly or on their own — of 12 companies in the British Virgin Islands, including OS Investments Inc. (2002), OAKS Inc. (2003), Fisch Investments Inc. (2005) and OS Tech Inc. (2006). Their mother is connected with two of the firms as a shareholder and one as a director. Most entities were transferred to another offshore service provider between 2007 and 2009.Comment: Omar Shoman didn’t reply to requests to comment through his assistant and email. The ICIJ could not locate Aysha Shoman and could not reach Suha Shoman on the phone despite several attempts.
TanzaniaMehbub Yusufali ManjiBusinessmanDetails: The Manji family is one of the richest in Tanzania. It started Quality Group Limited, the country’s major conglomerate with interests ranging from automotive to food processing.Offshore business: Director and shareholder of Intertrade Commercial Services Inc. (2007-2009) in the British Virgin Islands.Comment: Yusuf Manji, chairman and CEO of the company, did not reply to ICIJ’s emailed request for comment. The contact address in the records is that of the company in Dar-Es-Salaam.
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