Bit Of Croatia In Big Panama Papers

Photo: Screenshot "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie Jack Sparrow ( Johnny Depp): “Take what you can, give nothing back”

Photo: Screenshot “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie
Jack Sparrow ( Johnny Depp):
“Take what you can,
give nothing back”

Jack Sparrow’s words (from the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean”) “Take what you can, give nothing back” seems to have the been the motto dished out equally by an enormous number of world’s leaders or distinguished persons regardless of the fact that these leaders are engaged in conflicts between each other, have wide or opposing ideological differences and place barriers against each other in the world. Seems they are no different to common villains, crooks and thieves and what truly irritates is that they, for instance, drive on the roads built with tax payments they contribute zero to, their kids attend schools tax income contribute to but their companies’ contribute zero to, etc.
How else could one look at the astonishing and shocking revelation by the German Suddeutscher Zeitung newspaper  that leaked Sunday 3 April 2016 the so-called Panama Papers, containing millions of documents and data as to how some of the world’s most powerful have been hiding money in offshore accounts in order to avoid paying tax in their own countries or countries where profit from business is made or business owners reside in…

Panama Papers “list” contains the names of relatives and associates of former and current heads of state and government from at least 35 countries, from Angola, to Iceland, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Ukraine, Spain, Syria, Israel, Saudi Arabia, China, India, Pakistan, Japan, Argentina … It was only in 2013 at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland when the British Prime Minister said: “We need to shine a spotlight on who owns what and where money is really flowing.” He promised, with fellow world leaders, to fight the “scourge of tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance”. Such behaviour was no longer acceptable, he said and now in 2016 his late father Ian Cameron is named on the list of Panama Papers, i.e. holding offshore companies to be involved in tax evasion…Cameron will argue he personally had no benefit from his father’s offshore companies but the question does remain whether it’s acceptable to have a leader of a government who stems from a family that engaged in tax evasion however legal that taxation evasion set-up might have been?  The leaked Panama documents reportedly show how Ian Cameron employed dozens of people in the Bahamas to sign off on matters relating to his company Blairmore Holdings Inc., which managed tens of millions of pounds of assets. The company is based in the Bahamas but was incorporated in Panama, where it has been a longstanding client of the law firm at the centre of the controversy, Mossack Fonseca.

The world’s spotlight is now being shone on the extraordinary client base of Panamanian-based Mossack Fonseca (MF), the world’s fourth largest offshore law firm. A yearlong study by more than 370 journalists from 109 media organisations in 76 countries of a leak from MF of 11.5 million documents has shed new light on a secret world awash with cash salted away from prying eyes. Much of it, if not most, is concealed perfectly legally we are told, but under the sort of tax “efficient” arrangements mostly associated with the very rich, and by, among others, a clatter of politicians who would rather continue to pretend to their citizens that they are of modest means, says the Irish Times.

Photo credit: ICIJ International Consortium of Investigative Journalists VISIT: https://panamapapers.icij.org/

Photo credit: ICIJ
International Consortium of
Investigative Journalists
VISIT: https://panamapapers.icij.org/

In this underworld of big money and power capitalism is mobile and morality appears tedious. In the world of global capitalism money knows no boundaries, and the wealthy make the laws. Limits and laws are only for the poor, the average and the stupid, it transpires. Refugees disturb us because they are visible. Tax Refugees do not concern us, because they are powerful enough to disappear and stay out of sight. The West, which is so proud of its values, is closing down its borders to the persecuted people in search of a better life, but readily accepts dirty money in search of a better place to invest.

 

The real owners of this sea of wealth unveiled via the Panama Papers, much lodged in tax havens like the British Virgin Islands, are carefully hidden behind nominees and bearer bonds. But by tracking contacts and associates, 12 national leaders have been identified so far, who through immediate family or crony circles, are involved in the beneficial ownership of offshore companies created by MF. These include Russia’s president Vladimir Putin; China’s president Zi Jinping (and eight current or former members of the party politburo); Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif; Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko; and Iceland’s prime minister Sigmundur Davíd Gunnlaugsson (resigned position due to Panama Papers scandal on 5 April)…new names to emerge any day now as leaked documents are sifted through.
In some cases, drug dealers, blacklisted international sanctions breakers, fraudsters, money launderers and arms dealers, are said to also be reaping the benefits of this web of financial secrecy. They are facilitated by MF and banks that assure the public that they are neither aware of nor complicit in any illegality.

Interactive map of Companies and shareholders in Panama Papers scandal developed by Brian Kilmartin published by the Irish Times can be found: HERE

Interactive map of
Companies and shareholders
in Panama Papers scandal
developed by Brian Kilmartin
published by the Irish Times
can be found: HERE

As to the three Croatia-based firms identified in the Panama Papers the Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic has stated 4 April 2016 that “we have not yet seen which companies these are, our finance ministry has offices that will investigate and check the allegations and if proven true, we will communicate that to the public.” Oreskovic commented that he was aware of the fact that money laundering was a big problem and that there are criminal elements that exist but that “it’s most important that the country has a system that monitors that.”

Croatia's Finance Minister Zdravko Maric Photo: HINA/Damir Sencar

Croatia’s Finance Minister
Zdravko Maric
Photo: HINA/Damir Sencar

The Croatian Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said Monday 4 April 2016 that his Ministry “was carefully following developments regarding the Panama Papers scandal and was taking all measures and activities envisaged by the relevant laws regarding information on the possible involvement of Croatian companies or nationals in the scandal,” reported HINA Croatian news agency.
It’s important to note that offshore structures created to reduce taxes are legal in many cases and corruption in the criminal act for is not necessarily involved but there is not doubt that moral corruption is! There is no doubt that political corruption and hypocrisy is involved for how could any honest and decent political leader call for people to pay taxes and yet personally try to avoid paying it himself/herself or minimise it. The hundreds of journalists across the world working through the papers have uncovered plenty of apparent illegal activity so far, and I await with great interest the investigations in Croatia about the three companies reportedly keeping their cash stash well salted, avoiding taxers, in offshore accounts set up for them by the Mossack Fonseca. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

 

Comments

  1. It would seem, Dear Ina, most of the world’s rich and powerful are on the fiddle – no surprise that.

    Much love

    john

    Like

    • No surprise indeed, John, but still much fodder here for people to start smartening up and demand changes to company laws/tax and the so-called free trade which seems to be only free for business owners 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “For years and years they’ve been getting away with this secrecy and we’re also seeing in the documents that every time the governments and the authorities try to crack down, they’re finding new ways to get around those obstacles or barriers.” CNN

    Like

  3. Wilkinson says:

    I heard that the team behind the leak has prepared stories for two weeks but it could take months to exhaust the huge tranche of information containing proof of complex deals involving the world’s wealthiest and most private people…I hope we get to know the thugs in Croatia within the next two weeks, can’t wait either

    Like

    • I hope they’re faster than usual in Croatia…the history of corruption there tells us that coverups are just as skilled as hideouts, Wilkinson 😦

      Like

  4. huckmagazine says:

    How do tax havens affect you?

    Unwittingly, you are part of the system. Most of the products we buy in our globalised economy will pass through a tax haven – even if only on paper. However, economists have charted an escalating transfer of wealth, often from the very poorest to the very richest nations, enabled by the offshore system. Tax havens contribute to inequality worldwide.

    When it’s taxes being avoided, it’s usually the public services ordinary people rely on that suffer. Money spent frivolously by the super-rich on yachts, private jets, fine art and ostentatious property angers many, but often has a greater effect than meets the eye. London is a prime example of a city where offshore wealth inflates property prices, putting it out of the reach of ordinary people and creating social conflict over incredibly unaffordable housing.Huckmagazine

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good one, huckmagazine – London is one of many cities in the world so affected with crazy real estate prices that will leave at least a couple of future generations mostly homeless unless we, today, do something about it within the next ten years. Cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I find it all rather depressing. Oh, for an honest politician – left, right or centre, any would do!

    Like

  6. If I were an odds-maker in Vegas, I’d have a pretty good idea of who to give short odds on in Croatia’s case. I’m surprised there’s not more speculation in the media. I guess everyone is afraid that “King Kong” will go rampant naming names and making deals to stay out of jail.

    Like

  7. I first heard about the Panama Papers on local news radio while driving to work earlier this week. I’m sure big names from the US will become public from these “papers” in coming weeks!

    Like

    • I think so too, Elisa – let’s hope they don’t go back into hiding their money without due process and without contributing to the community whose tax-paid resources they use

      Like

  8. And so we see yet again just how hypocritical our Politicians are. If they were answerable to the people they could be sacked for this evasion and lose their great salary and brilliant pensions as well as all the associated perks.
    We deserve honesty and openness from those who are supposed to serve us.
    xxx Massive Hugs Ina xxx

    Like

  9. I understand there is another summit on the issue shortly, and confidently expect that it will take strong action to prevent-

    future such leaks of information…

    Like

    • Oh yes for sure Clare, “privacy” issues are already being voiced out or suggested in some countries – any which way to avoid responsibility, I for one would rather have them pay the tax than know their names 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I agree!

    Like

  11. Its gaining the world ‘s attention ,everyone is talking about it.Europe ,Asia,America , the Middle east. Even Hollywood stars are involved it.

    Like

    • So time to “step on them” and make sure that if they avoid paying anything they do that to their own family not the public whose tax money creates a great deal of common infrastructure the also use, Jalal 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Well said Ina.. As always one rule for us and another for them.. The only good thing is that we are now seeing exposure to the corruption now being revealed more frequently in many of the high places..
    There is hope yet I feel.. As the world is clearing it’s throat for the next phases .. 🙂
    Love and Hugs my dear friend.. xxx Sue

    Like

  13. What a joy to meet a writer/person who does so much for people without a voice that is carrying the weight of their burdens. Thank you for everything you do.
    fiddledeedeebooks.wordpress.com

    Like

  14. Don’t you love it when those doing the investigating into the crime – are the same ones potentially named?

    Like

  15. I admire how you give details and fill us in with what is going on in Croatia. Ina, you were right about my link to Norm Frampton’s Doors. I apologize and also wish to extend a sincere Thank you. You are a good blogger who I respect. Take care and enjoy your weekend. Hugs, Robin

    Like

  16. The sad thing, is that they will get off scot free

    Like

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