A new article written by Will Fitzgibbon outlines a fresh leak from The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Which reveals unseen information on offshore accounts held in the Bahamas. Including the new Bahama information and the Panama Papers, a massive 100% free online database has been made available for searches.
“We see it as a service to the public to make this basic kind of information openly available,”
“There is much evidence to suggest that where you have secrecy in the offshore world you have the potential for wrong doing. So let’s eliminate the secrecy.”
-Gerard Ryle, the director of ICIJ.
What was revealed?
The Bahama documents released include details of activities from convicted felons, princes, even ministers and prime ministers. This info had been recorded and released before, however it was by the Bahamian government and were searchable only with fees. Nearly a half million companies and others have been included within the database spanning over 200 territories and countries.
A much more detailed report has been written by the aforementioned ICIJ author and Emilia Díaz-Struck that goes over more than one hundred and seventy five thousand companies registered in the Bahamas from the 1990’s all the way to the present year 2016.
When paired with the Panama Papers, the Bahama’s data provide fresh insights into the offshore dealings of politicians, criminals and executives as well as the bankers and lawyers who help move money.
The Bahamas “Switzerland of the West”
If you have heard of a Swiss bank account it is for good reason, the laws in both Switzerland and the Bahamas have strict non-disclosure agreements with foreign countries offering asylum to some undeniably shady business transactions.
The Bahamas is a constellation of 700 islands, many smaller than a square mile. It is one of a handful of micro nations south of the United States whose confidentiality laws and reluctance to share information with foreign governments gave rise to the term “Caribbean curtain.”
For nearly a century, the Bahamas has been on the radar of tax officials around the world.
In the 1930s, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service investigated Americans who avoided taxes in Switzerland and the Bahamas, which once sold itself as the “Switzerland of the West.”
Many more details are still coming forward and leaks are still up for anyone to peruse, the information coming to light is informative and revealing at best and damaging if not damning at worst. Perhaps, companies and foreign interests will think again before hiding less than savory dealings within the Bahamas.