Financial

Map: The Offshore Leaks Revelations

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By Mar Cabra

January 23, 2014, 1:30 pm

Until now, no journalist had been able to crack the secret offshore money system on a global scale. But Offshore Leaks laid it bare: Columbia Journalism Review called it “a landmark series on offshore tax havens that has law enforcement scrambling and scofflaws sweating from Mongolia to Germany, Greece to the US.”

Hundreds of articles showed how fraudsters, politicians and the wealthy move and hide money. It took two years for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to piece it all together.

The result is a global investigative reporting project that has had unprecedented impact around the world. It prompted high profile resignations, criminal and civil inquiries, policy changes, and official investigations on four continents.

This week we published the last major chapter in the series: the extensive links of China’s elites to tax havens around the world.

We have gathered the stories from more than 60 countries and displayed them in an interactive map that illustrates the breadth of the work.

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Iran Bans Banks From Sending Statements To ‘Foreign’ E-Mail Addresses

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Many Iranians have complained of disruptions to Gmail and other “foreign” e-mail services in recent months.

May 08, 2012

Iran’s minister of communications and information technology, Reza Taghipour, has sent a letter to the head of the country’s Central Bank, Mahmud Bahmani, asking him to instruct banks to refrain from sending bank statements to e-mail addresses administered by foreign providers.
In his letter, Taghipour says that banned foreign e-mail providers include Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, and MSN.
The communications minister has called on banks to only accept national e-mail addresses from customers when they open accounts.
Taghipour has requested that banks provide access to the Internet for customers to be able to create national e-mail accounts at their premises.
The move appears to be aimed at forcing citizens to join the national e-mail system, which many Iranians have been reluctant to use.
Some Iranian websites have reported that the use of the national e-mail is obligatory for those working for the government and state institutions.

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North Africa and the Persian Gulf: Lingering Tensions, Different Stakes

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English: Map of Arabic-speaking countries.
Image via Wikipedia

Despite its proximity to Europe and its status as a major African oil producer, Libya‘s sparse population and relative isolation from its neighbors make the stakes of civil unrest much lower than in other regions of the Arab world

Libya returned to the headlines Saturday when a protest in front of the headquarters of the National Transitional Council (NTC) turned violent. A group of demonstrators in Benghazi broke into the building, vandalized and looted the property and reportedly drove NTC head Mustafa Abdel-Jalil to flee through a back exit. A leading member of the council has since resigned, and Abdel-Jalil has warned that the country risks heading toward civil war if protests continue to intensify. The euphoria many Libyans felt at the death of former leader Moammar Gadhafi last October has faded, and though elections for a constituent assembly are scheduled for June, it is hard to see a stable, democratic government on the horizon in Libya.

The young men at the protest shared a general feeling of discontent with Libya’s direction more than three months after Gadhafi’s death. But they also share another trait: they all live in Benghazi, the city where the NTC was formed and is supposed to have the highest level of support. Benghazi is where the Libyan revolution started, and many of the NTC leaders come from the city. In less than a year, the council’s self-appointed leaders — many are still involved in the governance of the country — have gone from beloved to vilified in the eyes of many who supported the revolution, including those from Benghazi. Read the rest of this entry »

Putin And Kudrin: Russia’s Real Tandem

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Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and former Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin, who resigned in late September after a spat with President Dmitry Medvedev.

December 16, 2011

Amid all the showmanship and bravado on display during Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’slive call-in program yesterday, there also came a rare moment of sincerity.This happened when Putin was asked to comment on former Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin, who resigned under pressure following a public spat with President Dmitry Medvedev in late September.

“Aleksei Leonidovich Kudrin has not left my team,” Putin said. “We are old comrades, he’s my friend. He did a lot for the country. I’m proud that this man worked in my government. Such people are needed and will be needed in current and future governments.”

On one hand, Putin’s comments can be viewed as a subtle dig at President Dmitry Medvedev, who demanded Kudrin’s resignation after the finance minister criticized his plans to increase military spending by $65 billion over the next three years. (The rare public dust-up came just days after Putin announced that he intended to return to the Kremlin next year and planed to make Medvedev his prime minister. Kudrin was reportedly not happy about the job swap.) Read the rest of this entry »

Kosovo’s Former Bank Governor Cleared Of Corruption Charges

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Police escort former Kosovo Central Bank Governor Hashim Rexhepi (second left) after his arrest in Pristina last year.

The European Union’s mission in Kosovo has said that the former governor of Kosovo’s central bank has been cleared of corruption charges, more than a year after the accusations cost him his job.

The EU’s police and justice mission in Kosovo, EULEX, said a judge had dismissed all five counts against Hashim Rexhepi.

The charges had included abuse of office and fraud. Read the rest of this entry »

Iran threatening to cut Hamas funds, arms supply if it flees Syria

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Iran had applied intense pressure to Hamas in an effort to persuade it not to leave Damascus, threatening even to cut off funds to the organization if it did so, Palestinian sources have told Haaretz.

The Iranian pressure also included an unprecedented ultimatum – namely, an explicit threat to stop supplying Hamas with arms and suspend the training of its military activists.

Ahmadinejad and Meshal - AP Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal.
Photo by: AP

According to the sources, Hamas is abandoning its headquarters in Syria and looking at other Arab states as an alternative location for its political command center. Hamas’ move comes despite intense Iranian pressure on the organization to refrain from relocating.

A Syrian opposition spokesman said recently that once Assad is toppled, his successors will have no intention of preserving the strategic alliance between Damascus, Tehran and Hezbollah.

According to the Palestinian sources, only “second and third-ranking” Hamas activists are leaving Damascus, while senior members of the organization’s political wing, headed by Khaled Meshal, are remaining in the Syrian capital. Read the rest of this entry »