German MEP Sven Giegold has demanded Britain to cancel all existing tax haven policies and cut its relationships with main partners in the British Commonwealth, as negotiations continue with Brexit. In his opinion, Prime Minister Theresa May would have to cut off UK ties with the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Jersey and the Isle of Man.
The British Commonwealth states including the British Virgin Islands all currently trade with UK under existing EU rules and regulations. There are almost two and a half billion people living in 52 independent and equal sovereign states.
By words of German MEP who is Green party representative, “The Greens cannot accept that, post Brexit, the UK maintains such a degree of influence over financial markets legislation in the union… On the contrary the negotiations present a good opportunity to ensure that the UK does finally end all tax haven policies…This is in the best interest of Europe as a whole as well as more equality in Britain.”
However these demands have been treated as excessive by Ukip who said that the attempt to interfere with the UK strategic relationships is unacceptable.
The BVI Financial Services Commission published an advisory warning informing that the company calling itself Base2Trade that previously operated at www.base2trade.com and presented itself as being registered in the jurisdiction, appears to falsely claim to be headquartered in the BVI.
The Commission confirmed that Base2Trade has never been registered or incorporated as a business company in the British Virgin Islands, as well as never been licensed to carry on financial services business in or from within the territory.
The new nominee of Trump administration for Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, was asked by Senate about his intention to close down Caribbean tax havens. Members of the US Senate requested details of how it is expected to close the tax loopholes that allow American companies and individuals to use foreign subsidiaries in zero-tax jurisdictions to avoid taxation.
Specific focus of the request was on the Cayman Islands, because it became recently known how financial service professionals working in the CI use combinations of jurisdictions, among them BVI, Belize, Anguilla and others, to create a completely tax-free offshore vehicle with no identifiable beneficial owner.
Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives after the Panama Papers scandal confirmed the immediate need for effective tax reform to eliminate the situation with US non-taxpayers, and there is political pressure on future Treasury Secretary for a solution of this problem.
The BVI Financial Services Commission has published an Advisory Warning about the entity naming itself XMAXBIT and presenting itself as being registered and incorporated in the British Virgin Islands whilst presenting a false certificate of incorporation through a website at http://xmaxbit.com.
The Commission confirmed that the company under this name has never been registered in the jurisdiction, and public is advised to exercise extreme caution if solicited at any time by or conducting any business with XMAXBIT.
The BVI FSC has published an Advisory Warning, informing the public about the entity named Intercruise Recruitment Agency Ltd, which presented itself as being registered and incorporated in the British Virgin Islands while having a false certificate of incorporation. The Financial Commission confirmed that Intercruise Recruitment Agency Ltd has never been registered or incorporated as a business company in the jurisdiction.
Public is advised to exercise extreme caution if solicited at any time by or conducting any business with Intercruise Recruitment Agency Ltd.
The British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission has fined Mossack Fonseca & Co (BVI) Limited for US$440,000, the largest amount ever issued by the FSC, for the contravention of the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Code of Practice and BVI Regulatory Code. The arm of the Panama Papers law firm failed to record keeping, risk assessment and adequate updating of customer due diligence.
This followed the investigation into the BVI branch of the firm upon the publication of the Panama Papers in April 2016, including a six month on-site compliance inspection focused on reviewing specific aspects of the company’s anti-money laundering and risk management procedures, and the appointment of a qualified person approved by the Commission to advise on company’s business affairs and to give recommendations on how to bring it into full compliance.
Premier Dr Orlando Smith said in his comments on the actions of BVI FSC: “Today’s enforcement action clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of the territory’s independent regulator, the seriousness with which it tackles any breaches of its code and, through the adjustments made to its risk assessment framework, an ongoing commitment to strengthening its regime to ensure this remains fit for purpose.”
The Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh, the five-star hotel with 150 staff was placed into liquidation in July 2016, after HM Revenue & Customs filed a winding up order against owners of JJW Hotels.
In the beginning of July, JJW Hotel said that it was in the process of resolving its issues with HM Revenue & Customs, and put the liquidation notice down to an “unfortunate miscommunication”. Appointed liquidators have been running the hotel while the owners tried to bring it back under their ownership.
JJW Hotels & Resorts Ltd is a subsidiary company of the British Virgin Islands-incorporated MBI International Holdings, whose owner is Saudi tycoon Sheikh Mohamed bin Issa al Jaber. By words of his spokesperson, “JJW Hotels and Resorts own and manage The Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh”…“The estate is made up of three parts: The freehold which is owned by JJW, the hospitality function which is operated by JJW and a leasehold over parts of the hotel which is owned by another party.”
According to the statement of JJW Hotels, its management is in final negotations with the liquidator to exit the process, and with the third party leaseholder to buy him out. Appointed liquidator Eileen Blackburn answered that “The Scotsman Hotel will continue to trade under the liquidator’s supervision…While sustained efforts have been made to reach an agreement to return the company and its trading to the hotel’s owners, this has not yet proved possible.”
Polo Resources Limited, the natural resources investment company based in the British Virgin Islands, announced that its 33.2 per cent investee company Celamin Holdings NL issued an update concerning the resolution of the dispute between its wholly owned subsidiary Celamin Limited and its joint venture partner Tunisian Mining Services. The arbitrated dispute relates to the fraudulent transfer to TMS of Celamin’s 51% shareholding in Chaketma Phosphates SA.
The arbitrator considered the jurisdictional challenges raised by TMS and confirmed Celamin’s position regarding jurisdiction of the arbitrator and the International Chamber of Commerce. The Chaketma Phosphate Project is a world class asset and Celamin believes it can manage it and ensure it proceeds to development.
Following the announcement of the troubled oil and gas company Xcite Energy Limited on discussing the deal after which creditors would take under control 98.5% of its share capital, the principal shareholders moved to company’s liquidation. Being not satisfied with the transaction that would have significantly diluted their interests, the shareholders instructed the bond trustee to petition the court in the British Virgin Islands, where Xcite is domiciled, within the next 10 days to request the appointment of a liquidator to the company. The appointment of the liquidator will take effect 4 to 6 weeks from the filling of such request.
As it is expected that the liquidation is unlikely to result in the return of any value to the existing shareholders of the BVI company, its ordinary shares have been suspended on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).
Xcite Energy Resources Plc will not be subject to enforcement action, and will remain a going concern throughout the process.
Finance Minister of Pakistan has requested the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to seek information in the Panama and Bahamas leaks. Pakistan will ask for information from the tax authorities of nine jurisdictions, including British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Jersey, Panama, Seychelles, and some others. The requested data will be mainly related to the banks accounts, business assets and investments of Pakistani nationals and companies mentioned in the leaked documents.
The Chairman of the FBR has informed Pakistan’s Finance Minister that the notices have already been issued to the persons and companies named in the documents.