Central American Bank Busted by J5 for helping tax evaders

Martin Everson

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Does anyone have an idea of which bank this is they are talking about here? eek¤%&


----- quote start

January 24, 2020 12:50 am

A globally coordinated day of action to put a stop to the suspected facilitation of offshore tax evasion has been undertaken this week across the United Kingdom (UK), United States (US), Canada, Australia and the Netherlands.

The action occurred as part of a series of investigations in multiple countries into an international financial institution located in Central America, whose products and services are believed to be facilitating money laundering and tax evasion for customers across the globe.
It is believed that through this institution, a number of clients may be using a sophisticated system to conceal and transfer wealth anonymously, to evade their tax obligations and launder the proceeds of crime.

The coordinated day of action involved evidence, intelligence and information collection activities such as search warrants, interviews and subpoenas. Significant information has been obtained as a result and investigations are ongoing. It is expected further criminal, civil and regulatory action will arise from this in each country.

This is the first major operational activity for the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement, known as the J5, formed in mid-2018 to lead the fight against international tax crime and money laundering. This group brings together leaders of tax enforcement authorities from Australia, Canada, the UK, US and the Netherlands.

“This is the first coordinated set of enforcement actions undertaken on a global scale by the J5 – the first of many,” said Don Fort, US Chief, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.

“Working with the J5 countries who all have the same goal, we are able to broaden our reach, speed up our investigations and have an exponentially larger impact on global tax administration. Tax cheats in the US and abroad should be on notice that their days of non-compliance are over,” Mr Fort said.

Australian Tax Office (ATO) Deputy Commissioner and Australia’s J5 Chief, Will Day, said that this operation shows that the collaboration between the J5 countries is working. “Today’s action shows the power of our combined efforts in tackling global tax crime, fraud and evasion.
“This multi-agency, multi-country activity should degrade the confidence of anyone who was considering an offshore location as a way to evade tax or launder the proceeds of crime.”

The ATO has commenced investigations into Australian based clients of this institution who are suspected to have undeclared income. The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) is playing a supportive intelligence role, and investigations into more clients may follow.
“Never before have criminals been at such risk of being detected as they are now. Our increased collaboration, data analytics and intelligence sharing means there is no place worldwide you can hide your money to avoid contributing your obligations,” Mr Day said.
Hans van der Vlist, Chief and General Director of the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), from the Netherlands said “This is the first outcome of an operational collaboration between five countries on tackling professional enablers that facilitate offshore tax crime.
“The international investigation started on information obtained by the Netherlands. By sharing this information and working together an international impact is created. Together as the J5 we will try to close the net on tax criminals.”

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Chief Eric Ferron said “I am very pleased with the role the CRA is playing in what will be the first of many major operational activities for the J5. This coordinated operation shows that the collaboration between J5 countries is working.
“Tax evaders beware; today’s action shows that through our combined efforts we are making it increasingly difficult for taxpayers to hide their money and avoid paying their fair share.”

Simon York, Chief and Director of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)’s Fraud Investigation Service said “Tax evasion is a global problem that needs a global response and that is what the J5 provides. This kind of international action shows that we can and we will take on the most harmful, sophisticated and complex crimes and that we are committed to levelling the playing field for honest businesses and taxpayers.

“International tax evasion robs our public services of vital funds, undermines economies and, left unchecked, can enrich the dishonest at the expense of the honest majority.

“Working together, HMRC and our J5 partners are closing the net on tax criminals, wherever they are, to ensure nobody is beyond our reach. The message to them is clear – the J5 are closing in.”


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hernanday

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I'm guessing Panama, and I'm guessing HSBC. But I have no evidence. Banks only facilitate money laundering for clients with $50+ million minimum in an account and it is usually much more than that like $200 million and up. The bankers get goodies like flying around on the clients private jet, wined and dined, taken to the best of the best, both sides no the deal, all the rules are overlooked. They figure the slap on the wrist punishment will be worth the 10-20% fees they'll get out of that customer over time, and they tend to do it across a class so it adds up to like hundreds of millions in fees and almost no jail time, except at worse for a few fall guys, but the bank CEO always gets off, hires an army of lawyer and lobbyist and blocks the prosecutors from doing anything for real by buying off the minister of justice.
 

Martin Everson

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Sounds possible it is Panama. Bloomberg has reported the story now and its clear its an International Financial Institution. I don't get the secrecy of why they don't name the bank ns2.

I guess if anyone here gets this letter in the post they will let us know maybe eek¤%&.


----quote start

“It’s going to be scary for the people who receive the letters,” Dyce told Guardian Australia. “They won’t expect this.

“We’re starting off with a small number of enquiries and we’ll extend our activities after that. We encourage people to come forward and talk to us if they think they may be affected, and it can result in a faster and slightly less painful resolution.”


---- quote end
 

xzars

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The intelligence gathering competencies of J5 are a little too much to mess around with long-term.

Lesson to leave with: if you're a central-American bank with exotic tax optimization services, think carefully who you on-board as your clients.

Sticking to clients from the southern football-loving countries might have been a safer bet.
 
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Martin Everson

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The intelligence gathering competencies of J5 are a little too much to mess around with long-term.
Potentially unlimited information gathering once US and UK are involved.

If its not HSBC then what other bank or country in Central America could it be? There is only Panama, Belize, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica. To be honest Belize or Puerto Rico seems more likely then as they serve a lot of western foreigners the other countries I doubt would work for westerners ns2.
 

xzars

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Potentially unlimited information gathering once US and UK are involved.

If its not HSBC then what other bank or country in Central America could it be? There is only Panama, Belize, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica. To be honest Belize or Puerto Rico seems more likely then as they serve a lot of western foreigners the other countries I doubt would work for westerners ns2.
@hernanday 's guess of it being Panama, without further information, is reasonable. After all, it's the largest banking center in Central America with USD as its main currency.

But HSBC? There's no HSBC in Panama, just former HSBC (MIDLPAPA) which now belongs to Bancolombia group as Banistmo. Quite difficult to open accounts, and their services are nothing out of the ordinary. There's a very slim chance of that being the bank in question, because they are well positioned in domestic market (top 3?). Meanwhile, there are ~50 small banks, like Allbank (which got closed recently), and I have no idea how they can stay afloat in such a tiny market like Panama, and not having any visible presence in that tiny market either.

In the US, big banks can take risks, because realistically nobody will revoke their license, but not in Panama. There's no state guarantee on bank deposits either, and it will be a national disaster if Banistmo, Banco General or BAC goes into liquidation, or loses their access to USD.

- Panama? Possibly, but one of the smaller banks.
- Puerto Rico? It's a contentious fish to tackle. It's a well-known tax evasion whore house, harming the OECD but not the US. It enables CRS evasion, but not FATCA evasion. Anyway, why would the US let banks there get in trouble just because the dutch or the aussies lost some tax revenue?
- Belize? Already on its knees. No foreigner will bank there in 2020.
- Costa Rica? The best bet. Better reputation than Belize, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, or Panama. Wires to/from CR won't raise red flags. Their financial system is open to foreigners, they have no capital controls. Media has not ruined its reputation. Most banks pay solid interest on deposits.
 

Martin Everson

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@xzars What you say makes total sense.

HMRC says btw the bank is suspected of laundering more then £200m alone in UK. That's not a crazy amount of money and also they said a person in UK was arrested.


How come I never heard of this Central American bank. These sort of banks would typically be on my radar if it serviced foreign clientele smi(&%.
Have to wait till they release the banks name I guess.
 

hernanday

Building Trust
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@xzars What you say makes total sense.

HMRC says btw the bank is suspected of laundering more then £200m alone in UK. That's not a crazy amount of money and also they said a person in UK was arrested.


How come I never heard of this Central American bank. These sort of banks would typically be on my radar if it serviced foreign clientele smi(&%.
Have to wait till they release the banks name I guess.
LOL. I feel like they'd only take the risk if you have tens of millions of dollars for it to be worth the risk for them. Your $1 or $2 million is not enough for them to risk their ass. If you have £200m like the one guy who got caught there in the UK, ok, they charge you 5-10% fee, and make £10-20m off you, and they figure still worth get caught over. Even a top law firm and lobbyist might only run them 2 million pound. So they still ahead by 18 million pound.

Once you have money, and I'm not talking 1 or 5 or 10 million, but like $50m+ all those requirements and rules that the government says exist disappear for you.
 

Admin

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I guess if anyone here gets this letter in the post they will let us know maybe eek¤%&.
That would be awesome if they do so we may know about it. If someone get the letter and are willing to post it here (without personal name) then I give you 1 months mentor group for free ;)
 

Martin Everson

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I am 100% sure someone here banks in this mystery bank and will receive this letter.

P.S I wonder if it could be one of these new crypto type banks that pop up everywhere. That may explain why it never hit my radar maybe.
 

Alex115

Member
I am 100% sure someone here banks in this mystery bank and will receive this letter.

P.S I wonder if it could be one of these new crypto type banks that pop up everywhere. That may explain why it never hit my radar maybe.
I have no guesses since I've never had to bank with US / SA banks but it's very unlikely that it's one of the crypto type banks because those are on every institution's radar since 2017.

Unless of course it's something like those "Crypto Capital Corp." guys from Panama which at some point held more than A BILLION of Bitfinex's money and I believe didn't even have a license.
 

Martin Everson

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Unless of course it's something like those "Crypto Capital Corp." guys from Panama which at some point held more than A BILLION of Bitfinex's money and I believe didn't even have a license.
It's possible as J5 is focused on crypto crime also.
 

hernanday

Building Trust
Entrepreneur
I have no guesses since I've never had to bank with US / SA banks but it's very unlikely that it's one of the crypto type banks because those are on every institution's radar since 2017.

Unless of course it's something like those "Crypto Capital Corp." guys from Panama which at some point held more than A BILLION of Bitfinex's money and I believe didn't even have a license.
I second crypto capital, I got an email from the lawyers today about this bank. They are also suspect of fraud related to the quadrigacx scandal.
 

Martin Everson

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Just seen the below old article about a J5 raid of bestmixer.io. These guys are not playing :oops:. Your screwed if they got Europol involved plus the duration of time they spend watching clients should worry most people. The client of that anonymous Central America bank are screwed BIG TIME!!!! I've said it before the taxman can take their time even years watching you before pouncing as it just means more interest on back taxes owed that they make of you...lol. They even worked with internet security company McAfee and will share data with other countries :oops:.

Multi-million euro cryptocurrency laundering service Bestmixer.io taken down

------ quote start
The recent press release from Europol regarding the shut down of Bestmixer, however, states that Dutch authorities have in fact been gathering detailed intelligence about Bestmixer users for almost the entire history of the service, intelligence it will now analyze and furnish to other law enforcement:

“The Dutch FIOD has gathered information on all the interactions on this platform in the past year. This includes IP-addresses, transaction details, bitcoin addresses and chat messages. This information will now be analysed by the FIOD in cooperation with Europol and intelligence packages will be shared with other countries.”
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xzars

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Bestmixer is another story from last year :confused:

Someone kindly sneeze out the name of the Central American bank fin4774"
 

Martin Everson

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Bestmixer is another story from last year :confused:
Yup but what is interesting is they are working with McAfee. Think for a minute McAfee internet security and Norton Internet Security have huge databases with all the IP addresses of every customer along with other information on your specific browser and everything you use or have installed on your PC. It doesn't take a genius to work out that they can match IP and metadata with connections made to bestmixer to identify clients. Even if you used TOR services Norton and McAfee sees and can retrieve everything post encryption..lol :p. Not to mention Microsoft and their OS level key logging. Moral of story is use Linux ns2

Someone kindly sneeze out the name of the Central American bank fin4774"
My bet is Euro Pacific Bank if its not then some crypto company in Panama.

P.S Why did EPB suddenly lose their correspondence bank in UK? Any EPB customers got letters yet? smi(&%
 

Martin Everson

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I am still checking internet to find out which bank this is. I have thrown my hat in the ring by calling out one so lets see smi(&%.
 

John Dee

Active Member
I am still checking internet to find out which bank this is. I have thrown my hat in the ring by calling out one so lets see smi(&%.
Well, I am checking mailboxes as well smi(&% But I have a feeling, that it will be some small player in the region. Some of banks there are just in "too big to fail" stage now.
 

Martin Everson

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P.S Why did EPB suddenly lose their correspondence bank in UK? Any EPB customers got letters yet? smi(&%


------ start quote

“Tackling the abuse of correspondent banking arrangements was at the heart of our day of action last month, and we are looking beyond just a single financial institution in Central America."

---- end quote

I think I am on to something here with EPB having lost its UK correspondence banking relationship and moved to a new one. Coincidence? ns2
 

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