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PLP causes jitters in business community after only six weeks in power

December 31, 1998 - The PLP has only been in power a month but there are already signs that the party's stance on work permits for foreign employees might be tougher than previous governments. A permit has not been renewed for Paul Rowlerson, a Senior Vice President with J&H Marsh & McLennan, after 14 years on the island in the insurance sector, according to a story in The Royal Gazette newspaper.

Plans move ahead for fourth bank in Bermuda

December 31, 1998 - It might have all the hallmarks of a disaster about to happen but plans are moving ahead to form a new, fourth bank in Bermuda called the First International Citizens' Bank. A Private Members' Bill to incorporate what is intended to be a Bermudian-owned bank was introduced to the House of Assembly this month.

Conferences cater to the shadier side of the offshore world

December 31, 1998 - Mexico played host this month to two seminars organized by individuals and groups operating on the murkier side of the offshore world. Cancun was the venue over December 9-11 for the 'Offshore Wealth Summit', which was put on by Jerome Schneider, who is one of the most reviled figures in the offshore world.

Hunt continues for Scott Oliver's 'fictitious' bank

December 31, 1998 - As regular readers of this newsletter should be aware, we recently caught Lines Overseas Management salesman Scott Oliver lying to potential clients about his credentials by claiming he was on the board of advisors of the International Exchange Bank of Bermuda, which does not exist. After being exposed, Oliver sent out e-mails to associates in which he claimed that "this bank was not registered in Bermuda as initially discussed but instead was registered in another British Commonwealth offshore jurisdiction". He also declared that he was no longer an advisor to the 'bank'.

Stockton Re agrees to buy Crowe Insurance

December 31, 1998 - Stockton Re announced on December 18 that it had agreed in principle to buy the Lloyd's of London-based Crowe Insurance Group Limited and its subsidiaries. Crowe is one of the largest remaining independent managing agencies at Lloyd's, managing six syndicates with total premium income capacity of over £230 (approximately $391 million) for 1999.

Bermuda drops plan to licence foreign investment companies

December 31, 1998 - Pressure from the private sector in Bermuda has led to the axing of a plan to license foreign-owned investment services providers operating on the island. In one of his last acts as Finance Minister before his party lost the General Election, Grant Gibbons agreed to drop foreign investment services providers from the Investment Business Act.

Overseas telephone/fax rates set to fall further in Bermuda

December 31, 1998 - Long-distance telecommunications rates are set to fall further in Bermuda following a decision by the new government to force local providers to cut connection rates charged to overseas carriers. The connection rate must drop to 15 cents per minute by January 1, 1999 and to 10 cents per minute by July, 1998, ordered new Telecommunications Minister Renee Webb.

ACE and CIGNA in 'global strategic alliance'

December 31, 1998 - ACE Limited and CIGNA Corporation have confirmed they are discussing a 'global strategic alliance'. The discussions include the possible acquisition by ACE of Cigna's domestic and international property and casualty businesses.

UBS (Bahamas) obtains an Anton Piller order against attorney Leslie Vernon Rolle

December 31, 1998 - UBS (Bahamas) Limited has obtained a seldom-granted court order allowing its representatives to enter a Bahamian attorney's premises without notice and take away documents and other movable assets. The order - known as an Anton Piller order - was granted by the Bahamas Supreme Court on December 11 against attorney Leslie Vernon Rolle, who operates from Nassau, and Esson Securities and Investments Ltd. and Weybridge Properties Ltd.

MeesPierson granted a Bermuda trust licence

December 31, 1998 -  MeesPierson (Bermuda) Limited was granted a trust licence in Bermuda on April 3, 1998.

We hunt for red flags in high-value, cross-border finance by monitoring offshore and onshore courts, regulatory actions, offering documents, and other sources - and email you the results.

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Cayman crypto firm ICOBox sued by US regulator for 'unregistered' activity
Cayman Islands cryptocurrency "incubator" ICOBox and its founder, Nikolay Evdokimov, have been sued by the U.S. SEC for alleged illegal involvement in digital token offerings that raised $665 million. In a separate lawsuit last year, a former CEO of an ICOBox subsidiary claimed the group's "main shareholders" were "all funded by Russian money laundered through bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies".
Cayman Court Secrecy: A Huge Red Flag for Foreign Investors & Clients
David Marchant
As any fule kno, the biggest enemy of fraud, corruption, money laundering, and other forms of financial crime is transparency, while their best friend is secrecy. That's why the unprecedented mass sealing of cases that's taking place at the Financial Services Division of the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands is repugnant to anyone with a genuine concern for financial crime.