Friday, February 27, 2009

Links - Feb 27

** Also see our searchable archive of past story summaries; and Offshore Watch. **

Gabon president's accounts frozen
Feb 26 (BBC) – A Bordeaux court has frozen Gabon President Omar Bongo's bank accounts. It is the first time French authorities have frozen the accounts of an acting head of state. Mr Bongo, Africa's longest-serving leader, is thought to have more than $4m (£2.8m) in French bank accounts. For those who don’t follow Bongo and his long history with France, this is astonishing news.

Stanford Claimed ‘War Chest’ to Woo Virgin Islands Tax Break
Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- R. Allen Stanford told U.S. Virgin Islands authorities two years he had “a very large war chest of cash,” and had told members of the Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission that his 62 companies, in which he was the sole shareholder, managed more than $30 billion and that he was ready to invest about $2 billion in the island of St. Croix and elsewhere in the Caribbean in exchange for the right to reduce his personal U.S. tax bill by 90 percent.

The AccountingWEB.co.uk blog round-up: Whom to watch
Guess who features at the top. . . .

Fit and proper persons?
Feb 26 (Guardian) - Swiss bank UBS paid $760m to settle a tax evasion investigation in the US, so what are the UK regulators doing here? TJN’s Richard Murphy writes in The Guardian.

«La place financière suisse a de vrais atouts»
Feb 26 (TJN) – According to Tax Justice Network, “spearhead (fer de lance) against tax dodging.

Bank secrecy is dead. Now what? Le secret bancaire est mort, et alors?
Feb 26 (Hebdo Switzerland) - In the face of external pressure, Swiss bankers are trying to pretend that UBS is an isolated case. But they know that bank secrecy must evolve. And that Swiss finance does not need it.

Steuerparadies Appenzell verärgert Deutsche (Tax haven Appenzell annoys Germans)
German story on a curious little Swiss tax haven called Appenzell. Translation here

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