Tag Archives: Offshore Banking

Barbados Minister of International Business Donville Inniss: Swiss Bank Account for your online porn business?

cropped-donville-inniss-hospital-goat.jpg

Revealed for the first time: Donville Inniss Swiss Money Connection

An interesting article in yesterday’s Nation Newspaper where Donville Inniss, our Minister of International Business, announced that Barbados is fully on board with the US and international efforts to have an automatic exchange of tax information between countries.

Some folks would say that Barbados is caving to the USA’s extortion, but others would say this is the future and welcome to it.

Of course, some folks would also question where the customers are going to come from if keeping money in Barbados is the same as having a bank account in Chicago or London. Why should anyone do their banking in Bim if there is no advantage?

“. . . My ministry has written to the secretary general of the OECD in Paris indicating that Barbados has formally committed to signing on to the automatic exchange of tax information,” Inniss said. “This is important because as a government there is somewhat of a paradigm shift in taking a position that Barbados needs to be a player, and to be seen as a major player in this international financial services sector where it matters most.”

… Nation News Bowing to Global Pressure

Barbados Sex Trafficking

What about all Donville’s porn profits?

This concern with international tax treaties is a newish thing for Pornville, er, Donville.

You see, not so many years ago, Barbados Free Press caught out Donville Inniss in the act of profiteering from online pornography.

“One of the saddest things I’ve ever seen is Orgasm.com’s pregnant woman porn section. How does Donville Inniss feel about these desperate young girls – making money for him like this?” 

Continue reading

Advertisements

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Ethics, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Slavery

Banking executive from CIBC’s FirstCaribbean International Bank carried FIFA bribe!

Why would a CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank executive travel from the Bahamas to New York to personally pick up a US$250,000 cheque?

Why not just wire the funds? Why not send the cheque via courier?

The answer appears to be that the US$250,000 was being money-laundered by one of FIFA’s top officials, Chuck Blazer. After picking up the cheque in New York, the banking executive returned to the Bahamas and deposited the cheque into Blazer’s personal offshore account.

I didn’t really catch onto this at first. I thought it was a situation where the CIBC had been unknowningly duped or had a client misuse the bank. But that isn’t what happened according to the articles in the press – the CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank was directly and knowingly involved in money-laundering.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Anyone who has seen the award-winning documentary about the 2008 meltdown – Inside Job – knows that the banks are rotten to the core, and in conjunction with bribed elected and appointed officials ensure that the motto of the inside crowd remains “Profits are private. Losses are public.”

Closer to home just look at Clico and the Barbados DLP government.

But for you and me though, just miss a mortgage payment or don’t pay taxes and see what happens. Wuhloss!

FIFA scandal exacerbates Canadian banks’ Caribbean troubles

An eyebrow-raising disclosure in the U.S. indictment of FIFA officials is that a representative of a Caribbean bank made it easy for one allegedly illegal transaction to be done by flying to New York to personally collect a check and then returned to deposit it in an account in the Bahamas.

This unusual courier service, which reduced the electronic trail on a $250,000 payment to former FIFA official Chuck Blazer in May 2011, was provided by an unnamed officer of Barbados-based CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, the indictment shows. CIBC FirstCaribbean is a subsidiary of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Canada’s fifth-largest bank.

That cheque, U.S. prosecutors allege, was part of a $10 million bribe paid in return for the votes of then FIFA vice president Jack Warner, Blazer and another FIFA official in support of South Africa being granted the rights to host the 2010 World Cup.   Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Corruption, Offshore Investments

Barbados offshore banking: meet rock and hard place…

tax cheater Barbados

submitted by Blackman

Few working class Bajans really understand the connection between our offshore banking / corporate industry and high quality tourism visitors. The downturn of mass tourism (or tourism for the masses, including cruise ship spend per passenger) is only a part of the story.

Another segment of our long-stay, high spend per visitor tourism industry is under assault because of international (primarily American) pressure to report our offshore banking clients to foreign governments.

It looks like the Barbados government is rolling over on this issue, but to be fair, what else can we do? Barbados: meet rock and hard place…

Barbados Eyes Inter-Governmental Agreement With US on FATCA

Barbados has signaled its intention to the United States of concluding a reciprocal Inter-Governmental Agreement to apply to the US’ Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said Thursday.

The Prime Minister said Barbados was “aware that an atmosphere of certainty was needed for domestic and international operators in our banking sector and other entities which met the criteria of foreign financial institutions under FATCA to thrive.”

“I look forward, therefore, to being able in the coming weeks to announce formally that the US is favourably disposed to negotiating a reciprocal Model 1 inter-governmental agreement with us,” he said. “And from our end, we will be working towards concluding agreement by year-end.”

The law requires the automatic exchange of US taxpayers’ foreign banking information. That places it in the same policy space as exchanges under the OECD, he said.  Continue reading

Comments Off on Barbados offshore banking: meet rock and hard place…

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Economy

More UK government attacks on Global Tax Avoidance and Income Shifting

Caribbean-bank-money_laundering

Barbados had better develop some new revenue streams… like yesterday!

submitted by Not Taken

Luxembourg / Barbados / Marshall Islands – tax avoidance and income shifting is all the same shell game but it’s becoming more difficult to hide due to computers and the communication and lobbying powers of the internet.

The Brits are out to stop the game. Canada (CRA) and US (IRS) are cracking down. Barbados is very exposed. Our Government should be prepared to see its revenue from offshore businesses to decline substantially. The billion of new Treasury Bill funding to pay its bills will disappear quickly.

And at the same time as our offshore banking and companies hosting industries are coming under pressure, our tourism seems to be in a death spiral.

Many of us foresaw this situation coming ten years ago. Only fools couldn’t see it coming five years ago.

So far I’ve heard nothing from either the DLP or the BLP except excuses and criticism without solutions capable of addressing this crisis. This is not a time for gentle, incremental solutions: it is a time for radical changes, not more of the same.

Have a look at this from a Canadian newspaper…

Amazon’s U.K. unit slammed for ‘pathetic’ $3.7-million tax bill

Amazon.com Inc.’s main U.K. unit paid $3.7-million (U.S.) of taxes on its 2012 income, it said on Wednesday, despite group UK sales of $6.5-billion, prompting criticism from lawmakers and competitors.

Amazon.co.uk Ltd. added in its accounts, published through the U.K. companies register, that it received £2.5-million ($3.8-million U.S.) in government grants during 2012 – just ahead of the £2.4-million it paid in corporation tax, the U.K. form of corporate income tax.

Corporate tax avoidance has risen to the top of the political agenda in Europe following revelations in the past couple of years about how little big names like Apple Inc., Starbucks, Google and Microsoft pay in tax in markets where they reap billions of dollars in sales.

The companies say they follow the rules but U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has called for international action on the shifting of profits, which can help firms cut tax bills. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Business & Banking, Economy

Tax Havens under fire in massive new leak of hidden offshore accounts

Caribbean-bank-money_laundering

Washing money, Hiding money

contributed by “M”

Unlike the mainstream media in Barbados which seems disinclined to report on the financial shenanigans of its politicians/public figures (except the $75,000.00 cheque), the media in Canada has no such hesitation, as seen at the attached link to CBC website.  Other major media in Canada are running with the story. While 38 media outlets around the world are probing the data leaks reported in the material reported in Canada by CBC, I do not expect to read about it in the Barbados papers.

Canadian CBC: Senator’s husband put $1.7M in offshore tax havens

Canadian CBC: 450 Canadians in offshore leak

Yahoo! Finance: Report exposes secrets of offshore tax havens

While Barbados does not figure prominently in this and related CBC articles, I think Barbados authorities should be concerned.

Barbados is the third largest recipient of Canadian outward Foreign Direct Investment, after the USA and the UK; with the principal industry being “financial services”, which I expect is mainly in “offshore” accounts. Canadians are believed to to be the largest depositors in Barbados offshore bank accounts.

It may well be the case that all of those a legal.

Notwithstanding, with the spotlight being shone on the issue of  “offshore accounts” and “tax havens”, and Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s pledge in last week’s budget the government will bolster its efforts to fight offshore tax evasion, including launching a new whistleblower line that pays rewards for tips, improving compliance programs and demanding more information on certain financial transactions; it seems likely that some Canadians “investors” will choose to repatriate their foreign direct investments to Canada rather than face the scrutiny for Canada Revenue Agency

Not Taken

8 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Economy, Offshore Investments

Patrick R. Hoyos: Poor Barbados justice system frightens away foreign investors

“Where is the justice?”

Editor’s comment: This article by Patrick Hoyos brilliantly explains what is probably one of the most destructive forces in our society and economy – the inability of our justice system (for a variety of reasons) to deliver justice. Bajans have long known that our highly politicized and under-funded justice system cannot be relied upon, and that “Rule of Law” in Barbados means that those in positions of power can change or ignore the rules and the law without accountability.

The big problem for the elites is that with the advent of the internet, Barbados lost the power to control information. Thus, foreign investors and people who might be thinking about doing business in Barbados now know that business disputes typically take decades to resolve before the Barbados courts. Smart money runs from doing business in such a jurisdiction.

Increasingly international investors and companies are happy to have their money flow through Barbados to other jurisdictions – but invest or do business here? Leave the money here? Now that’s something else.

We’ve reprinted Patrick’s article here in full, lest someone pressure him to remove it from his own website, but we ask you to read the full article at The Broad Street Journal. If you live, do business or invest in Barbados, you’ll soon find yourself visiting The Broad Street Journal on a daily basis and eagerly anticipating the next article.

A bridge too far

By Patrick R. Hoyos    Published May 24, 2011

It is now three months since I wrote in this space about The Tribunal That Won’t Deliver its Judgment.

Three months since I noted that, despite having to wait three years after winning their case in court to have hearings before the Severance Payments Tribunal to determine the “quantum of severance,” and nearly a year since those hearings had ended, no judgement had yet been delivered.

Three months since I pointed out the frustration felt by all of the plaintiffs that justice for them seemed only to exist on paper but could not find its way into coin of the realm.

Three months since I pointed out that one of the plaintiffs had died without receiving his settlement.

I asked then, “Where is the justice?” Continue reading

19 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments

UK helps Barbados with damage control over tax transparency failure

International Community wants action, not promises

A new Barbados Government press release says that the United Kingdom will upgrade our country’s status with respect to the UK’s legislation on offshore non-compliance by U.K taxpayers, and petition the OECD to reconsider its recent report about Barbados that resulted in “highly prejudicial consequences”.

Last January the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) slapped Barbados upside the head for failing to comply with international standards for sharing tax information. The OECD review was part of a crackdown on money laundering and tax havens and found that Barbados “did not have legislation in place to fully share information on tax matters with international partners.”

See BFP’s January 28, 2011 article OECD: Barbados fails tax transparency standards

Barbados was once again sent to our room by the international community until we could behave ourselves and pass some laws and regulations like we agreed to do years ago but never got around to. So now that we’ve taken a few weeks and passed the new laws we’d like to come out and play with the others, and the UK is going to vouch for us.

This same scenario plays out once or twice a year in one form or another when the international community gets tired of all promises and no action. Last year Barbados was downgraded to a spot below Cambodia over our failure to fight human trafficking. This year it’s our failure to comply with international tax information standards. Next year it will be something else.

Laws? Standards? What you talking about?

You see, we Barbadians don’t like to pass laws or comply with outside standards. We like to make promises and statements of intent, but actually passing laws is another thing. Laws make it inconvenient for the ruling class to do whatever they want. That’s why the DLP won’t pass their promised Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information laws.

Unfortunately, while we Bajans understand our leaders making promises and then doing the opposite, the international community is less forgiving than the voters.

Moral of the story: After the OECD slapped us around, it took our government about two weeks to pass the required laws because the downgrade threatened our economy.

Too bad our government won’t act so quickly to pass Integrity Legislation,  Freedom of Information and Conflicts of Interest laws. Or Environmental Legislation.

Prime Minister Stuart could make those laws happen if he wanted to.

But he doesn’t want to.

Barbados Government Press Release Damage Control

British Government believes OECD Global Forum should review Barbados tax information-exchange finding as soon as possible Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Corruption, Crime & Law