Cyprus Offshore – Island Crisis http://islandcrisis.net/ Wed, 27 Oct 2021 04:57:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://islandcrisis.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/default1-150x150.png Cyprus Offshore – Island Crisis http://islandcrisis.net/ 32 32 Pandora Papers Part 15: For Yachts and Real Estate Abroad, UPL’s Shroff Brothers Go Abroad https://islandcrisis.net/pandora-papers-part-15-for-yachts-and-real-estate-abroad-upls-shroff-brothers-go-abroad/ https://islandcrisis.net/pandora-papers-part-15-for-yachts-and-real-estate-abroad-upls-shroff-brothers-go-abroad/#respond Wed, 27 Oct 2021 01:56:02 +0000 https://islandcrisis.net/pandora-papers-part-15-for-yachts-and-real-estate-abroad-upls-shroff-brothers-go-abroad/ VIKRAM SHROFF, one of the two sons of Rajju (Rajnikant) Shroff, the founder of the global Rs 38,694 crore pesticide producer UPL (formerly United Phosphorus Ltd), acquired companies in the British Virgin Islands to own a yacht and with his older brother Jaidev, set up a four-tier subsidiary structure for owning real estate in Dubai, […]]]>

VIKRAM SHROFF, one of the two sons of Rajju (Rajnikant) Shroff, the founder of the global Rs 38,694 crore pesticide producer UPL (formerly United Phosphorus Ltd), acquired companies in the British Virgin Islands to own a yacht and with his older brother Jaidev, set up a four-tier subsidiary structure for owning real estate in Dubai, recorded in the Pandora Papers studied by Indian express reveal.

Records show that Vikram Shroff, a British citizen, in June 2011 set up a company called Spider Investments Ltd in the Cayman Islands, to own a € 3.65million motor yacht named Robusto for personal and business use. charter. Spider Investments was incorporated through Trident Trust Company (BVI) Ltd, a business service company.

In July 2016, Trident Trust established another company called Blue Harbor Group Ltd in BVI with Vikram Shroff as beneficial owner and Harris Trustees Limited, a subsidiary of Trident Trust, registered in Saint Kitts and Nevis, as shareholder.

According to Blue Harbor’s incorporation form, the company was formed solely to own a $ 3.5 million yacht, which will then be exported to the BVI for “tax purposes.” Blue Harbor records are kept at the Trident Trust office in Cyprus. Vikram’s annual income is estimated at $ 1.5 million and his overall wealth is estimated at $ 40 million in the incorporation form.

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Jaidev and Vikram also own the companies BVI Gem Consulting Ltd and Legacy Investing SA, respectively. These two companies were incorporated in January 2013. While Gem Consulting of Jaidev owns JS Investments Ltd in the Jebel Ali (Jafza) free zone in the United Arab Emirates, Vikram only owns VS Investments Ltd in Jafza.

JS Investments and VJ Investments, in turn, own 50 percent each in another Jafza-based entity, VJS Investments Ltd (now Vesper Investments Ltd). VJS Investments Ltd is the owner of Dubai-based Prasadah Trading DMCC which, according to Pandora Papers records, was established to own properties in Dubai. All these companies were created in 2014 between February and September.

Trident Trust documents show Vikram Shroff is the beneficial owner of BVI Blue Harbor Group Ltd.

The records also show that Vikram Shroff is the beneficial owner of another BVI company, Lorena Asset Holdings Ltd, established in 2011 to hold bankable assets and investments. It was also created to hold a bank account and Vikram’s investment portfolio at Bank Julius Baer in Zurich. Lorena’s sole shareholder is another BVI entity, Louksor Limited, according to records.

Jaidev Shroff is the beneficial owner of Trenkore Investments Limited, a Cypriot entity that was re-domiciled in BVI in 2011. Shroff controls this company through Seychelles-based Vector Projects Ltd, according to the records.

Responding to a list of questions, Mishcon of Reya LLP, the law firm representing the Shroff Jaidev brothers said: “Jaidev and Vikram Shroff have worked exceptionally hard to build one of the largest companies in the world that has created jobs. and prosperity in India and around the world. . The Shroffs own a yacht, which is never used by the family except privately. It has never generated any income, is not used for charter and has no tax implications.

He added: “To ensure that their private assets and liabilities are recorded and tracked, Jaidev and Vikram have established companies for each of their investments well in advance of any deal. If this agreement is not concluded, the company is no longer useful and either remains dormant or is liquidated. If this goes ahead, Jaidev and Vikram are proud to comply with the global common reporting standard developed by the OECD in 2014. They send information to the relevant tax authorities and keep their tax returns up to date. The brothers do not reside in India, but wherever Indian source income is generated, they easily pay any taxes due. “

On January 22, 2020, the income tax administration raided the premises of the UPL after complaints of alleged tax fraud. In its FY2021 annual report, the company said IT had sent notices asking it to file revised tax returns for previous years.

“The company filed its tax return. In addition, the income tax service issued notices to the company calling for certain preliminary information. The company is in the process of responding to the above opinions and does not expect this matter to have significant financial or reporting implications, ”UPL said in the annual report.

UPL has also been mired in controversy after a whistleblower claimed to siphon off funds from developers as the company paid millions of rupees in rent to shell companies for properties previously owned by UPL’s global director Jaidev Shroff. . He denied any wrongdoing and said the UPL audit committee looked into the whistleblower’s complaint in 2017 and found no basis in the allegations.

(With contributions from Jayprakash Naidu in Mumbai)


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Yellen should use available resources before pushing new regulations https://islandcrisis.net/yellen-should-use-available-resources-before-pushing-new-regulations/ https://islandcrisis.net/yellen-should-use-available-resources-before-pushing-new-regulations/#respond Mon, 25 Oct 2021 22:00:11 +0000 https://islandcrisis.net/yellen-should-use-available-resources-before-pushing-new-regulations/ secretary of the treasury Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenDems seeks to keep billionaire tax in spending bill IMF economist expects inflationary pressure until mid-2022 shows Sunday – Democrats’ spending plan in the spotlight MORE presides over such a vast array of financial information database silos that she could be forgiven for not knowing how they’re all […]]]>

secretary of the treasury Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenDems seeks to keep billionaire tax in spending bill IMF economist expects inflationary pressure until mid-2022 shows Sunday – Democrats’ spending plan in the spotlight MORE presides over such a vast array of financial information database silos that she could be forgiven for not knowing how they’re all used – or not used, as the case may be. But that hasn’t stopped her from asking for even more information reports to provide her agency with clues to increase tax compliance. But there are monetary costs and, perhaps more importantly, costs in terms of confidence in implementing such a strategy.

Yellen is the contact for the controversial legislative demand to compel the U.S. banking system to produce input / output information regarding U.S. bank account holders and material bank transactions to the IRS to facilitate tracking by the IRS Potential Unreported Income. The theory is that more bank reports on taxpayers / bank customers would help to calculate and assess the increase in tax revenue. Since banks are already required to report annual individual interest and dividend income via Form 1099 to IRS service centers located across the United States, why not extend this requirement and ask banks to report entry and exit transactions – which total over $ 600 as initially suggested, or $ 10,000 as President of House Ways & Means Richard nealRichard Edmund NealPelosi: Democrats within reach of the deal The Hill’s Morning Report – Featured by Uber – Manchin, Sanders in budget feud; Biden still optimistic Democratic frustration with Sinema increases MORE (D-Mass.) Countered – during the year?

Indeed, at first glance, the idea seems good. There is currently an expanding overall government deficit, the repayment of which will likely weigh on future generations – and a yawning “Tax Gap” between what is reported to Uncle Sam and what should be reported. And then there are the expensive Democratic budget proposals to justify and hopefully pay for in the future, not to mention the Republican-sponsored tax cuts for businesses and the rich who never got paid.

But first, Yellen should explain how – and for what purpose – some of the other database reports maintained by the US Treasury are used.

My last job (over five years ago) was as an entrepreneur with the Department of Justice, where I was in charge of “tracking money” from cartel activities. I became familiar with the databases contained in the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The amount of information available to law enforcement for criminal investigation was astounding. As I tried to do money laundering business and confiscate the assets of major drug traffickers, I couldn’t help but wonder what the IRS could do to tackle the “tax gap” whether it could apply all the data contained in FinCEN to the tax returns contained in their service centers.

For example: Banks are already required to report Foreign Currency Transactions Reports (CTRs) over $ 10,000 made on their premises to FinCEN. Millions of these currency transaction reports are filed with FinCEN each year under threat of civil and criminal penalties if the bank does not. There is a cost incurred by the banks to produce these CTRs. What is the return to the Treasury and the police with regard to these deposits? And most importantly, what is the IRS doing with all these CTRs? Are they associated with the declarations of individual taxpayers? If so, what tax revenues did they generate? Does the Treasury know? Does the IRS know? Does anybody? Where are the reports describing exactly how these CTRs are being used and the total return versus the cost of producing and maintaining them?

For the record, CTRs are used by law enforcement to identify drug traffickers, racketeers and other crooks. It is also known – again anecdotally – that when banks recognize that shady characters may ‘structure’ their cash transactions or conduct other murky financial transactions, banks often file reports of suspicious activity (SAR ) from FinCEN (more than one million in 2019). The SAR provided productive leads to law enforcement for a successful criminal investigation of well-known criminals as Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortHuawei paid Tony Podesta 0K for White House lobbying., Elliot Spitzer, and Dennis HastertJohn (Dennis) Dennis HastertFeehery: Trumpus Rex Bottom line Feehery: Rebuilding the two-party system MORE.

The anecdotal news is nice. The empirical evidence is much better, especially when Uncle Sam wants to poke his nose into personal bank accounts.

Each year, the IRS produces a data mining report to Congress as needed. The latest available report covers 2019. Although the IRS notes that it uses the aforementioned reports as avenues for criminal investigation, it does not provide any empirical data as to the effectiveness of these reports in terms of charges or prosecutions. The IRS provides even less empirical data on the effectiveness of its own data mining programs in terms of the number of civil audits / reviews generated by their data mining efforts – let alone the amount of revenue. generated. The 2019 report indicates that no empirical data is available on the effectiveness of three IRS data mining programs.

The CTR and SAR databases are two of the best-known FinCEN databases, maintained for years by the US Treasury, but little is known empirically about their overall effectiveness.

The Treasury and IRS should answer a few basic questions before anyone finds Yellen’s old argument credible that a new bank reporting requirement is needed to increase tax revenue: What is the overall cost to banks? produce CTRs and SARs? How many criminal investigations, prosecutions and convictions exactly resulted from the reports filed? And most importantly, what taxes were assessed and collected as a result of filing CTR and SAR?

There are also other bank databases within FinCEN – less well known, but which certainly have the potential to fill the shortfall: foreign wire transfers over $ 10,000 and reports on foreign bank and financial accounts ( FBAR). These databases are deemed to be used most often by federal law enforcement agencies to track drug proceeds and money laundering activities, particularly foreign-based financial transactions in the case of FBARs. . While some people may recall that Paul Manafort did not file an FBAR regarding his bank account and his shell company transactions in Belize and Cyprus, how many other wealthy U.S. taxpayers (the purported goal of Yellen for increased tax revenue) have all of their six-figure overseas bank accounts declared? Does the IRS make good use of FBARs to track offshore money transactions that represent income? What about foreign wire transfers flowing into domestic personal bank accounts? Do they correlate with tax returns and / or FBARs? Does anyone know? If not, why not?

The recently released Pandora Papers highlight the widespread use of offshore shell companies and bank accounts by the wealthy to hide their untaxed wealth. These offshore arrangements are frequently facilitated by specialist law firms, accountants, financial advisory firms, and corrupt banks and bankers. U.S. government officials recognized this problem years ago and passed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) which requires foreign banks to report the possession by U.S. taxpayers of foreign bank accounts and other valuable assets. of particular value.

Again, the Treasury and IRS should answer a few basic questions: Where are the reports on the effectiveness of FATCA? Has FATCA been fully implemented? Are foreign banks in compliance? What income has been generated? What was the return on investment under the law? Certainly, domestic US banks would like to know how their foreign counterparts have handled this legal requirement.

To my knowledge, there is no prohibition on the IRS using the aforementioned data silos in conjunction with other income measurement activities.

Yellen is expected to send Congress a set of reports detailing the effectiveness of each of the databases managed by its agencies in terms of their impact on improving revenue before requiring financial institutions to issue another intrusive client report collecting digital dust in a barely used database.

Congress – and ordinary taxpayers – should be interested and should know: is the IRS effectively using all of the data referenced above? If so, how? How much income has been identified from these reports? How many taxes have been collected? If the information in the databases referenced above is effective, then why are additional bank statements on taxpayer banking activity required?

And Congress shouldn’t be allowed to get off the hook here. Lawmakers should ensure that the IRS has the resources to effectively track and correlate all of FinCEN’s open databases with tax returns.

Currently, the IRS still uses computers and software from the 1960s and has desperately needed – for decades – updated and automated computer equipment, software, and resources to maximize the use of all available resources. A minimal investment in new IT resources and expertise would certainly pay off more than simply forcing banks to provide more reports that cost us all both in cash and in confidence.

Let’s ensure that all data available to the Treasury and IRS is optimally used to increase revenue before we legislate new requirements for banks to issue new reports on clients who may or may not violate expectations in this area. confidentiality.

Martin J. Sheil is a retired IRS Criminal Investigations Supervisory Officer with 30 years of experience, including as the Coordinator of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) for the Coast Region. of the Gulf, Branch Manager for the District of North Texas (Dallas), Special Agent in Charge of the District of South Texas (San Antonio) and as Director of IRS CI Asset Forfeiture in Washington, DC


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Disy: Akel, not us, gave citizenship to a man linked to Pandora Papers https://islandcrisis.net/disy-akel-not-us-gave-citizenship-to-a-man-linked-to-pandora-papers/ https://islandcrisis.net/disy-akel-not-us-gave-citizenship-to-a-man-linked-to-pandora-papers/#respond Sat, 23 Oct 2021 12:48:58 +0000 https://islandcrisis.net/disy-akel-not-us-gave-citizenship-to-a-man-linked-to-pandora-papers/ The decision Disy attacked the main opposition Akel on Saturday for planning a demonstration to protest Cyprus’s “loss of credibility” in the wake of the Pandora Papers, pointing out that it was Akel who conferred citizenship on the Russian man linked to the revelations. Disy said in a statement that it was Akel’s Home Secretary […]]]>

The decision Disy attacked the main opposition Akel on Saturday for planning a demonstration to protest Cyprus’s “loss of credibility” in the wake of the Pandora Papers, pointing out that it was Akel who conferred citizenship on the Russian man linked to the revelations.

Disy said in a statement that it was Akel’s Home Secretary Neoclis Sylikiotis who suggested naturalizing the Russian man mentioned in the Pandora Papers, who was a client of the former law firm Of the president.

The statement was released after Akel’s senior officials and former Home Secretary Sylikiotis said his party was to hold a protest next week “to defend the dignity of our country and the rule of law.” following the European Parliament (EP) resolution which reprimanded a number of European politicians who appeared in the Pandora Papers, including President Nicos Anastasiades. Disy said Akel “has a short memory.”

The ruling party said Akel should think before he speaks and reminded them of their role in handing over a Cypriot passport to Leonid Lebedev, a client of the law firm named after the president and whose companies are mentioned in the Pandora Papers.

“What they forget is that the minister who suggested to the cabinet that the man in question should be naturalized Cypriot was Mr Sylikiotis, who was interior minister in the Christofias government,” Disy said.

The party questioned whether Akel’s supporters would also protest that Sylikiotis had given the businessman a Cypriot passport.

Earlier today, Sylikotis said the reference to Anastasiades in the EP resolution was another strong slap to the country’s credibility and called on the president to step down.

After Disy’s jibe, Akel countered that the reason Anastasiades was mentioned in the Pandora Papers was not because of Lebedev’s passport but because the law firm bearing the president’s name had the Russian client as a client. has been accused of money laundering since 2015.

“That’s why the international media call him ‘the offshore president’,” Akel said.

Anastasiades has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing after the law firm he founded was accused of hiding the former Russian senator’s assets behind bogus beneficial owners in a secret report filed with financial regulators from the British Virgin Islands.


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Cyprus worried about ‘pandoramonium’ overshadowing good work, KNEWS https://islandcrisis.net/cyprus-worried-about-pandoramonium-overshadowing-good-work-knews/ https://islandcrisis.net/cyprus-worried-about-pandoramonium-overshadowing-good-work-knews/#respond Sat, 23 Oct 2021 09:00:00 +0000 https://islandcrisis.net/cyprus-worried-about-pandoramonium-overshadowing-good-work-knews/ The Cypriot finance ministry said a European Parliament resolution on the Pandora papers and subsequent criticism from the local opposition overshadowed the amount of good work that has been done on the island against illegal activities, as some parties are calling the president to resign. In a press release issued on Friday, the finance ministry […]]]>

The Cypriot finance ministry said a European Parliament resolution on the Pandora papers and subsequent criticism from the local opposition overshadowed the amount of good work that has been done on the island against illegal activities, as some parties are calling the president to resign.

In a press release issued on Friday, the finance ministry said that political party statements and local media references following a Pandora Papers resolution “essentially diminish any action that has been taken over the course of the year. recent years against income from illegal activities and the financing of terrorism. as well as the authorities responsible for monitoring them.

On Thursday, an offensive resolution approved by the European Parliament singled out Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and other leaders mentioned in the Pandora Papers, calling on Member States to conduct thorough investigations into alleged wrongdoing as well as to close loopholes in offshore transactions.

The ministry then listed several measures taken between 2013 and 2015 aimed at strengthening the legislation as well as more recent actions, such as the crackdown on shell companies in the banking sector.

Earlier this year, Energy Minister Natasa Pilides called on Cypriot companies to embark on a new registration and updating effort real information on the beneficiaries of the companies, claiming that a new digital registry can increase transparency on the island.

“They essentially reduce all measures taken in recent years against income from illegal activities and the financing of terrorism as well as the authorities responsible for controlling them.”

Experts say the registry, a requirement of the European Union’s anti-money laundering regulations, could be a game-changer for Cyprus, with the aim of shedding its old ways where secrecy was seen as a magnet for those who concealed wealth and assets.

But Cypriot government officials seem to get the message about brass plate companies attracted by competitive tax rates.

Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides, known in local media as a silent critic of the country’s disgraced Golden Passport program, has previously referred to a new plan to create naturalization eligibility categories for skilled foreigners working in high tech companies in Cyprus.

Petrides lobbied for new incentives to attract foreign businesses to Cyprus, citing plans to reduce work restrictions, offer attractive tax packages and speed up the path of dependent families of employees.

The ministry went on to say that in February 2019, in an effort to mitigate risks in the banking sector, the Central Bank of Cyprus issued guidelines banning business relationships between financial institutions and shell companies that have no presence or activity in the country, with exceptions only for low risk companies.

“The current system of the Republic of Cyprus against income from illegal activities and the financing of terrorism has been assessed positively on several occasions by the MONEYVAL monitoring body of the Council of Europe,” said the Ministry of Finance.

Some parties call on Anastasiades to resign

But the political opposition accuses Anastasiades of giving Cyprus a bad reputation despite recent government efforts.

Left-wing AKEL parties and the Greens called on Anastasiades to step down, with the Communist Party citing a “long list of conflicts of interest weighing on the president over the years” while environmentalists accused the government of downplaying the issue.

Anastasiades was mentioned in several articles about wealthy foreigners accused of illegally obtaining a golden Cypriot passport, while reports of corruption allegations implicated his former Limassol law firm, Nicos Chr. Anastasiades & Partners.

The company also appears in the Pandora Papers as having been accused of filing false information with Alcogal, a Panamanian offshore company brokerage who reported to authorities suspicion that it was done to hide the assets of a controversial Russian billionaire.

The Cypriot president, who says he left the company before becoming president, denied any wrongdoing in statements he made immediately after the revelations.

But the central opposition party DIKO criticized Anastasiades for not acting proactively in the interest of the country.

“The resolution includes a specific reference to President Anastasiades because the family law firm with the name ‘Nicos Anastasiades’ is included in these revealing documents regarding professional misconduct,” said DIKO MEP Costas Mavrides.

Other small nationalist ELAM and socialist EDEK parties have called for an investigation.

The ruling party sees political exploitation

But the ruling conservative party DISY hit back at the opposition, saying critics of Anastasiades were taking the plunge “at a time when even the authors of the document were not implicating the President of the Republic in such cases, which was also highlighted in a statement from the European People’s Party.

“Not only are we against any political attempt by the opposition that puts everything together to hurt the president, but it also goes against the decision of the European Parliament both in the spirit and the letter of the presumption of ‘a particular fact included in the resolution,’ a DISY release mentioned.


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GAIL to build India’s largest green hydrogen plant, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld https://islandcrisis.net/gail-to-build-indias-largest-green-hydrogen-plant-energy-news-et-energyworld/ https://islandcrisis.net/gail-to-build-indias-largest-green-hydrogen-plant-energy-news-et-energyworld/#respond Fri, 22 Oct 2021 02:31:00 +0000 https://islandcrisis.net/gail-to-build-indias-largest-green-hydrogen-plant-energy-news-et-energyworld/ New Delhi: State-owned GAIL (India) Ltd will build India’s largest green hydrogen production plant with the aim of supplementing its natural gas business with carbon-free fuel. Speaking at the India Energy Forum by CERAWeek, GAIL Chairman and CEO Manoj Jain said the company has launched a global tender for the purchase of an electrolyser. “It […]]]>
New Delhi: State-owned GAIL (India) Ltd will build India’s largest green hydrogen production plant with the aim of supplementing its natural gas business with carbon-free fuel. Speaking at the India Energy Forum by CERAWeek, GAIL Chairman and CEO Manoj Jain said the company has launched a global tender for the purchase of an electrolyser.

“It will take 12 to 14 months to set up the plant,” he said, adding that the company had finalized 2-3 sites for the unit, including one in Vijaipur in Madhya Pradesh.

Jain said the planned plant has a capacity of 10 MW, the largest announced to date in the country.

State power producer NTPC has announced a 5 MW green hydrogen plant.

“We have, on a pilot basis, started mixing hydrogen with natural gas in one of the cities,” he said, adding that the company was testing the percentage of idea mix before increasing it. .

The hydrogen that Gail plans to produce can be sold to fertilizer units which, according to the government’s mandate, are required to use hydrogen as fuel, he said.

India’s largest gas transportation and marketing company is also exploring new avenues to boost its business, including encouraging the use of LNG as a fuel in long-haul road transport.

“For India to reach the target of increasing the share of natural gas in the energy basket to 15% gas use by 2030, from 6.2% currently, gas consumption must be multiplied by three and a half to reach 600 million standard cubic meters per day. And for that to happen, all sectors must intervene, ”he said.

The government, he said, is pushing for the use of LNG for fuel transportation and mining.

“As a sector, we will install 20 LNG distribution stations on the Golden Quadirateal by March 2022 and 500 to 600 points of sale in 3 to 4 years. The ultimate goal is 1,000 LNG stations,” said he declared.


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Switching back to coal in times of energy crisis would be a climate “tragedy” – EU https://islandcrisis.net/switching-back-to-coal-in-times-of-energy-crisis-would-be-a-climate-tragedy-eu/ https://islandcrisis.net/switching-back-to-coal-in-times-of-energy-crisis-would-be-a-climate-tragedy-eu/#respond Tue, 19 Oct 2021 14:36:19 +0000 https://islandcrisis.net/switching-back-to-coal-in-times-of-energy-crisis-would-be-a-climate-tragedy-eu/ By Fransiska Nangoy The European Union’s climate change policy official has said that returning to the use of dirty coal-fired energy during the current energy crisis is “not a smart decision” and that the markets should seize the opportunity to switch to renewable energies. The collective industrial recovery this year following the pandemic coronavirus crisis […]]]>

By Fransiska Nangoy

The European Union’s climate change policy official has said that returning to the use of dirty coal-fired energy during the current energy crisis is “not a smart decision” and that the markets should seize the opportunity to switch to renewable energies.

The collective industrial recovery this year following the pandemic coronavirus crisis has resulted in increased demand and prices for energy everywhere.

In Europe, soaring wholesale gas prices have encouraged more utilities to switch to coal to generate electricity, just as the region is trying to wean countries off highly polluting fuels.

In Asia, demand for coal from giant markets such as China and India has increased as their economies rebooted after major pandemic-induced collapses.

“It will be a tragedy if, in this crisis, we start investing again in coal, an energy with no future and extremely polluting,” European Commission executive vice-president Frans Timmermans told Reuters on Monday in a statement. visit to Indonesia.

“The smart thing to do is, during this energy crisis, to reduce your dependence on fossil fuels as quickly as possible,” he added, noting that the prices of renewables had remained consistently cheap while the prices of gasoline. coal had skyrocketed.

Global coal prices have reached record highs and Indonesia, the leading exporter of thermal coal, has increased its production target for 2021 to meet demand as mining operations have been disrupted by heavy rains.

Coal was part of Timmermans’ discussion with Indonesian officials when he visited ahead of the COP26 climate change talks in Glasgow, Scotland next month.

Indonesia, the eighth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, aims to reach zero net carbon emissions by 2060 or earlier, which includes plans to phase out the use of coal-fired power plants.

Coal currently accounts for around 60% of Indonesia’s electricity production and contributes around 35% of its emissions.

Timmermans said Indonesia’s plan to increase the share of renewables in its energy mix is ​​”laudable and ambitious” and that the EU wants to increase cooperation in this sector.

“We want to cooperate with Indonesia, to make sure we can invest and have technology transfers, bring ideas to the offshore wind, solar or geothermal market,” Timmermans said.

Indonesia will need to invest $ 150-200 billion a year in low-carbon programs over the next nine years to meet its goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2060 or earlier, study finds government.


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Guan Eng Deplores MACC’s Inaction to Launch Independent Investigation into Pandora Papers | Malaysia https://islandcrisis.net/guan-eng-deplores-maccs-inaction-to-launch-independent-investigation-into-pandora-papers-malaysia/ https://islandcrisis.net/guan-eng-deplores-maccs-inaction-to-launch-independent-investigation-into-pandora-papers-malaysia/#respond Mon, 18 Oct 2021 05:46:23 +0000 https://islandcrisis.net/guan-eng-deplores-maccs-inaction-to-launch-independent-investigation-into-pandora-papers-malaysia/ DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng said the Pandora Papers could be the tip of the iceberg of illicit financial outflows to offshore accounts involving billions of ringgit. =. – Photo by Sayuti Zainudin KUALA LUMPUR, October 18 – DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng has called “disappointing” the lack of independent investigation by the […]]]>

DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng said the Pandora Papers could be the tip of the iceberg of illicit financial outflows to offshore accounts involving billions of ringgit. =. – Photo by Sayuti Zainudin

KUALA LUMPUR, October 18 – DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng has called “disappointing” the lack of independent investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) into the recent Pandora Papers leak.

To support his argument, he listed 14 other cases of abuse of power involving “pro-government leaders or the MACC” that had similar “glaring loopholes”.

In a statement released today, the Bagan lawmaker said the Pandora Papers could be the tip of the iceberg of illicit financial outflows to offshore accounts involving billions of ringgits.

He added that the agency should fulfill its statutory duty by acting impartially, independently and professionally in a transparent manner, instead of only cooperating with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and other agencies to investigate the matter.

“Instead of taking action to curb offshore financing practices, the government and the MACC seem stuck in inaction when pro-government figures are involved. This is the 15th case involving pro-government or self-righteous leaders that the MACC has not acted without fear or favor, ”Lim said.

The MACC yesterday in a statement called on opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to provide information on the Pandora Papers briefing, national news agency Bernama reported.

The anti-corruption agency reportedly said it would work with BNM and other agencies needed to investigate the revelations.

The Pandora Papers were published by the Consortium of Investigative Journalists on October 3. It’s a data treasure house involving some 11.9 million documents and 2.9 terabytes of data – used to expose the allegedly corrupt actions of the global elite.

This is the largest offshore data breach treasure house in history with documents from offshore service providers operating in Anguilla, Belize, Singapore, Switzerland, Panama, Barbados, Cyprus, Dubai, Bahamas, Virgin Islands British, Seychelles and Vietnam.

Malaysians mentioned in the documents include former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, PKR Selayang MP William Leong and current Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

Lim also questioned, among other things, the ability of Minister for Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Seri Rina Harun to settle bankruptcy proceedings for debts of RM1.3 million, while ‘she had declared assets of RM 72,000 as of November 20, 2019 with income of RM 34,000.

“She refused to explain her source of wealth.

“The wave of defections of members of the Sabah State Assembly last year, generated by Tan Sri Musa Aman. This attempted backdoor government in Sabah ultimately led to the dissolution of the Sabah State Assembly and state general elections, which sparked the second wave of escalation in Covid-19 infections. at national scale. Musa was then appointed Minister of the State of Sabah, ”he added, pointing to another case which has not seen an investigation by the MACC.

Lim then brought up the case of the MACC’s investigation by Kuala Langat MP Dr Xavier Jayakumar, which he said had cooled off after Dr Xavier’s defection and support for Muhyiddin.

“Five PKR MPs rejected incitement or were intimidated to defect and support Muhyiddin, namely Putatan MP Awang Husaini Sahari, Mr. Karupaiya (Padang Serai), S. Kesavan (Sg Siput) , Michael Teo Yu Leong (Miri) and Sekijang MP Natrah Ismail. No action against those who try to trigger the defections of the five PKR deputies.

“MACC chief Datuk Seri Azam Baki refusing to go on leave to ensure there is no interference in MACC investigations following the arrest of three senior MACC officers for abuse of power and professional misconduct following the loss of 6 million US dollars (25 million RM) belonging to the former director general of the Malaysian Foreign Intelligence Organization, Hasanah Abdul Hamid, ”he added.

On Saturday, the director of Bukit Aman’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Datuk Seri Abd Jalil Hassan said police had received four police reports on the Pandora Papers briefing.

Abd Jalil said that of the four reports, two were classified as no further action (NFA) because they were linked to a memorandum urging authorities to investigate the leaked documents.

“An investigation document was handed over to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) on October 14, while another will be delivered to BNM on October 18,” he said.

Earlier that same day, Prime Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government would not interfere with investigations by law enforcement agencies regarding the Pandora Papers.

He said the government would leave it to enforcement agencies to read the report and investigate the Malaysians mentioned in the leaked documents, adding that action can be taken against anyone based on their findings.


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Cyprus and Egypt sign agreement to speed up connection to electricity grid https://islandcrisis.net/cyprus-and-egypt-sign-agreement-to-speed-up-connection-to-electricity-grid/ https://islandcrisis.net/cyprus-and-egypt-sign-agreement-to-speed-up-connection-to-electricity-grid/#respond Sat, 16 Oct 2021 17:03:43 +0000 https://islandcrisis.net/cyprus-and-egypt-sign-agreement-to-speed-up-connection-to-electricity-grid/ An undersea cable connecting the power grids of Cyprus and Egypt could be essential in helping the two countries switch to a green economy and meet their commitments to tackle climate change, the Cypriot minister said on Saturday. Energy. Minister Natasa Pilides said a memorandum of understanding she signed with Egyptian Minister of Electricity Mohamed […]]]>

An undersea cable connecting the power grids of Cyprus and Egypt could be essential in helping the two countries switch to a green economy and meet their commitments to tackle climate change, the Cypriot minister said on Saturday. Energy.

Minister Natasa Pilides said a memorandum of understanding she signed with Egyptian Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi outlines the planning, development and implementation of the project.

“Strengthening our electricity grids and continuing to integrate renewable energies into our respective energy mix, improving the security of our energy supply and enabling us to become energy exporters are just some of the tangible benefits, ”said Pilides.

The agreement aims to speed up permit approvals, feasibility studies and construction as well as better coordinate electricity regulators and transmission system operators in the two countries. A working group of experts from both countries will monitor the progress of the plan.

Cyprus and Egypt have forged closer ties in recent years following the discovery of natural gas deposits in the waters between neighbors in the eastern Mediterranean.

The two countries are also working on plans to ship the gas discovered in Cypriot and Israeli waters to Egyptian processing plants, where it would be liquefied and exported by ship to European and Asian markets.

Earlier this year, Israel, Cyprus and Greece signed an agreement to speed up technical work on connecting the three countries’ power grids with a 2,000 megawatt submarine power cable. The first phase of the project should be operational by 2025.



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‘Why has Malta given up on oil and gas exploration’, asks geologist https://islandcrisis.net/why-has-malta-given-up-on-oil-and-gas-exploration-asks-geologist/ https://islandcrisis.net/why-has-malta-given-up-on-oil-and-gas-exploration-asks-geologist/#respond Thu, 14 Oct 2021 05:28:00 +0000 https://islandcrisis.net/why-has-malta-given-up-on-oil-and-gas-exploration-asks-geologist/ Geologist Peter Gatt wondered why Malta had apparently given up on oil and gas exploration, especially when its Mediterranean counterparts in the country discovered such reserves over the past decade. Gatt was reacting to a statement made by Finance Minister Clyde Caruana in his budget speech last Monday, in which Caruana said “Malta has no […]]]>


Geologist Peter Gatt wondered why Malta had apparently given up on oil and gas exploration, especially when its Mediterranean counterparts in the country discovered such reserves over the past decade.

Gatt was reacting to a statement made by Finance Minister Clyde Caruana in his budget speech last Monday, in which Caruana said “Malta has no oil and gas”.

Such a statement, Gatt said, must be seen in the context of the fact that Caruana is the minister responsible for oil and gas exploration – he heads the Oil Exploration Committee – and that “Malta is the country of the EU the most dependent on hydrocarbons (oil and gas) for its energy needs.

The latter point means Malta has to import most of its energy at a cost of over € 1 billion in hydrocarbon imports each year, he said.

Gatt said four questions arise as a result of Caruana’s statement.

“Why has Malta given up on oil and gas exploration when its neighbors Israel, Cyprus, Egypt and Greece have been actively exploring and discovering oil and gas over the past decade? Israel is now a gas exporter, ”Gatt began.

“Who (wrongly) informed the minister that Malta has no oil and gas?” Can the “geologist” or whoever gave this advice be named and provide the “proof”? “

“Why hasn’t the EU country most dependent on energy imports launched an active oil and gas exploration program, especially when the same Minister Caruana is now engaged in legislation to the creation of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ)? “

“Why do we need an EEZ when Malta does not have an oil and gas exploration program (or has had a failed program) and the Minister is so convinced that” Malta has no oil and gas ”? “

At present, there is no oil and gas production in Malta, although there have been efforts in the north and south of the island in hopes of hitting one of the two .

Exploration activity in Malta was sparked when oil was discovered near Ragusa in Sicily in 1953. Onshore wells were dug at Naxxar, Zabbar and Ghar Lapsi, to no avail, which brought in intrepid operators to look abroad instead.

In the early 1970s, offshore licenses were awarded to Shell, Aquitaine and Home Oil, and four dry wells were dug between 1971 and 1973. Although some oil showings were discovered, there was no recoverable prospect there.

Texaco received an offshore license soon after, and in 1980 began to explore an area known as the Medina Bank, which eventually became the cause of significant political tensions between Malta and Libya.

Drilling was actually halted after a border dispute with Libya saw the North Africans send a gunboat towards the platform. It was not until 1985 that the problem was resolved.

The government itself dug an onshore well known as Madonna Taz-Zejt in 1998 in Gozo, which gave some evidence of gas but no usable reserve.

The last well to be dug dates back to 2014 about 150 kilometers off the coast of Hagar Qim.

Two companies currently hold licenses for oil exploration. These are Heritage Oil – which has had a permit since 2007, and Edison International – which has an exploration agreement since 2019.


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Welcome to THE COMMONS – News and Views for Windham County, Vermont https://islandcrisis.net/welcome-to-the-commons-news-and-views-for-windham-county-vermont/ https://islandcrisis.net/welcome-to-the-commons-news-and-views-for-windham-county-vermont/#respond Wed, 13 Oct 2021 05:25:07 +0000 https://islandcrisis.net/welcome-to-the-commons-news-and-views-for-windham-county-vermont/ Guilford The Pandore Pafter, published in early October, are the product of massive data leaks carefully analyzed by more than 600 journalists around the world. They unmask the secret ways the world’s super-rich hide billions of dollars and dodge taxes – not just on a sandy Caribbean island, but right here in the United States. […]]]>

Guilford

The Pandore Pafter, published in early October, are the product of massive data leaks carefully analyzed by more than 600 journalists around the world. They unmask the secret ways the world’s super-rich hide billions of dollars and dodge taxes – not just on a sandy Caribbean island, but right here in the United States.

Billionaires and crooks around the world now view the United States as an offshore tax haven. They bring their treasure to “secret jurisdictions” such as South Dakota, Delaware, Nevada, Florida and New Hampshire.

My role in the publication of the Pandora Papers was to serve as an advanced source for foreign journalists to understand the American system of wealth concealment. I sat down on my farm in Guilford and spoke to reporters in Mexico, Brazil, England and Argentina about why their crooks and oligarchs were parking money in the United States.

The Pandora list doesn’t include many super-rich Americans, even though they use the same toolkit of offshore banks, anonymous shell companies, and blackout trusts.

That’s because this mine of leaks comes from offshore wealth consultancy firms in 12 countries, including Samoa, Cyprus, and Belize – not places super-rich American citizens go to for financial services.

And more often than not, American billionaires don’t need to go abroad.

The United States has become a tax haven over the past 30 years because a number of states have changed their laws to accommodate anonymous shell companies and unlimited life trusts.

South Dakota comes under scrutiny in this report, as it leads the pack of entities known as “dynasty trusts,” where wealthy families bet billions with the intention of making money. ‘avoid taxes for centuries.

* * *

Tits hiddenrichness system causes six serious damages to Vermont and to communities around the world.

1. It allows the plundering of the wealth of nations, particularly hurting the poorest and most vulnerable populations in the world. Some of the shady figures backing their assets in the United States are dictators and politicians who have stolen public funds as well as business owners who have broken their country’s laws.

The United States is now complicit in these crimes, providing a getaway car in the form of secret trusts and anonymous companies.

2. The hidden wealth system leads to tax hikes on the non-rich. When billionaires and global corporations dodge and evade their tax responsibilities, they are passing the costs of public services on everyone.

When the rich don’t pay, they burden the rest of us with the bills of pandemic response, veteran care, and funding for infrastructure and schools.

3. The secret funding system empowers bad payers and criminals, allowing them to mix funds in secret.

4. The system reduces donations to nonprofit charities, our vibrant independent nonprofit sector. Philanthropy experts are finding that tax havens are increasingly diverting money from charities.

5. Money is pouring into the US real estate markets, driving up the cost of housing for the non-wealthy and contributing to the extreme affordable housing crisis in many communities.

Many land and home purchases are not even occupied – they are “wealth storage units” for the world’s rich looking to park their assets in stable markets.

6. Finally, the hidden wealth system contributes to the growing inequality of wealth. It allows some families to create dynasties of billion dollar inherited wealth while making everyone else’s life more economically precarious.

* * *

we legislators could shut down this hidden wealth system if they mustered the political will to do so.

They could invest in tax enforcement, rebuild the Internal Revenue Service’s ability to monitor the financial gambling of the super-rich, and enforce existing tax laws.

They could regulate or ban trusts and transactions that serve no purpose other than tax evasion.

Following the Pandora Papers, some lawmakers introduced the ENABLERS Act, to require due diligence declaration laws for “intermediary” entities involved in the flow of wealth such as lawyers, art dealers and asset managers. patrimony.

At the end of the day, it’s a global system. And the United States will need to adhere to global treaties to raise standards and ensure global cooperation to eradicate money laundering.

The rest of the world is leading the way and the United States must join the movement.

Editor’s Note: Our terms of service require that you use your real names. We will remove anonymous or pseudonymous comments brought to our attention. We rely on the personal integrity of our readers to support what they say; please don’t write anything to someone you wouldn’t say to their face without needing to wear a ski mask when saying so. Please do your part to make your responses energetic, thoughtful, provocative and civil. We are also taking your comments into account for the letters section of the printed newspaper.


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