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Letter From Bermuda: ‘Karl Van Who’ Bores for Belgium

"I will be correspondent to command,And do my spiriting gently." Anyone who attended the Bermuda Insurance Institute's Christmas lunch last month would have acquired, in addition to indigestion, a distinct competitive advantage in the event they found themselves playing the

Newt Utopia: ‘Offshore Insight’

Liechtenstein benefits for short timers Police in the capital of Vaduz recently reported a prisoner housing problem as a result of several recent arrests made during a money laundering investigation. In police headquarters there are 16 cells that can only

Newt Utopia: The use of historical bonds in investment scams

Historical bonds have been used in numerous international frauds over the years and have cost suckers many hundreds of millions of dollars. So how do these old worthless bundles of pretty paper get used as "authentic" documents to part the

Latin America Round Up: May 31, 2001

Panama is on a new "black list" Getting genuine and trustworthy information vital if one wants to make smart investing decisions is going to be harder from now on in Panama. Eight journalists have been convicted of criminal libel in

Newt Utopia: April 30, 2001

China I have business associates who travel regularly to China. I also work with Chinese businessmen who conduct a lot of business in the US. From both perspectives, the recent air crash incident involving the United States was most cumbersome,

Latin America Round Up: April 30, 2001

Argentina Finally, Argentinean Central Bank boss Pedro Pou was replaced on Wednesday, April 25th, by Roque Maccarrone, former President at Banco de la Nación and Banco Río. The move followed a parliamentarian investigation that found irregularities in the way Pou

Newt Utopia: September 30, 2004

Vanuatu It looks like the future for this failed offshore jurisdictions is in hosting Survivor reality television shows. I can't wait to see Survivor Sealand or Survivor Melchizedek.Bahamas The Bahamian Foundation Act has a few quirks that could have made

Latin America Round-Up: September 30, 2004

CHILETracing the General's secret money The Chilean authorities assigned a special Judge, Sergio Muñoz, to investigate the alleged illegal money linked to former dictator Augusto Pinochet. Judge Muñoz has taken control of $6 million that was held in trusteeship in

Letter From Bermuda: Threat of a General Strike

The last time we had a general strike was 1981, and 23 successively worse years have followed for our tourism business. We are now threatened with an illegal general strike in Bermuda, perhaps as early as this week.The Bermuda Industrial

Newt Utopia: September 30, 2003

Newt was (is) right A dog that doesn't wag its own tail is a sad dog. And I'm here to wag my tail. Bermuda But first, on a more somber note, to all of our friends, coworkers and cohorts in

Latin America Round-Up: September 30, 2003

CHILEInverlink debacle goes on Former Scotiabank employee Gino Tirapegui, and former BBVA employee Juan Pablo Prieto and Inverlink's Larry Fletcher have been indicted for fraud related to the Inverlink case. They are part of a group of twenty people, including

Latin America Round-Up: September 10, 2007

ARGENTINA & VENEZUELAThe mystery of the Venezuelan suitcases The scandal over the arrival to Argentina of a Venezuelan businessman carrying $800,000 in undeclared cash on a government hired jet has had its first victims. Claudio Uberti, the head of the

Letter from Bermuda: Derrick Burgess Minister of Emigration

You can only feel sorry for Derrick Burgess, our Minister of Labour and Immigration. He's as dim as a 15 watt bulb. Limiting foreign workers to six year terms wasn't his idea. He inherited the Ministry a few months ago,

Newt Utopia: September 4, 2005

St. Kitts and Venezuela, another oil refinery story Venezuela is looking at a joint venture to develop a refinery in St. Kitts. The idea is to replace one state sponsored debacle, sugar, with another one - a refinery for asphalt,

Newt Utopia: Dominica’s financial services sector still a joke

DominicaThe financial services sector is still a farce. The International Financial Center building, built to offer high quality offices to the community, was completed just as the financial sector was gutted by regulations and scandals. When it opened, the only

Latin America Round-Up: September 7, 2006

BRAZIL New intelligence unit Brazil's Foreign Ministry officially announced the creation of an intelligence center, in cooperation with Argentina and Paraguay, located in Foz do Iguacu - in the so called tri border region - to combat money laundering and

Latin America Round-Up: September 4, 2005

BRAZIL Party blues Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva's government is still paralyzed by the corruption scandal that has been going on for three months. His Workers' Party (PT), which believed it had exclusivity on principled politics in Brazil, is now

Letter From Bermuda: Bermuda Government rewards misappropriation

In most places, corruption lives in the shadows. Criminals do not receive civic awards, especially if, through their actions, hard working men and women have been denied their legal entitlements. Usually, such Robin Hoods in reverse appear in the crime

Newt Utopia: September 30, 2002

Dominica is a beautiful island nation between Guadeloupe and Martinique with about 65,000 residents. Its major attraction is also its major obstacle to development. That is the rugged terrain of the island. It has surface volcanic activity evident at Boiling

Latin America Round-Up: October 31, 2004

COSTA RICADisgraceThe head of the Organization of American States, Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, was detained and put under house arrest following his resignation just two weeks after starting the job on October 15th. He has been accused of taking a bribe

Letter from Bermuda: PLP mired in corruption scandals

In 1998, when Bermuda's Progressive Labour Party (PLP) took office for the first time in its 34 year history, the general view was that a generation or two would pass before the party would be unseated. The self confessed black

Latin America Round-Up: October 31, 2003

COSTA RICAMoney laundering on the rise A report by the Drug Enforcement Administration identifies an increase in Costa Rica's vulnerability to money laundering. According to the report, the real estate sector has become one of the favorite ways of laundering

Latin America Round-Up: October 11, 2007

COLOMBIANarco arrested Diego León Montoya Sánchez, one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, has been arrested by Colombian authorities near Zarzal in the Colombian state of Valle del Cauca. Montoya has been on the FBI's “Ten Most Wanted” list

Latin America Round Up: September 30, 2002

ARGENTINAMenem off the hook, for the moment Judge Julio Speroni concluded there is not enough evidence to indict former President Carlos Menem in the case of the illegal arms sale to Croatia and Ecuador. Judge Speroni added, though, that Menem

Latin America Round Up: September 30, 2001

Bin Laden in Latin America Without doubt, the terrorist attacks against New York and Washington, and Osama bin Laden the prime suspect in the strike have monopolized the world's attention this month. And it was reported that the trail of

Latin America Round-Up: October 7, 2008

BRAZIL Trees and corruptionThe battle against the wood pulp industry intensified this month in the Brazilian courts, especially in those states where eucalyptus plantations have expanded the most.In Rio Grande do Sul, five environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the

Latin America Round-Up: October 5, 2009

ARGENTINAMushrooming corruption allegations Allegations of corruption against public officials have mushroomed against a backdrop of the diminishing popularity of the government. Prosecutions brought during the administration of Néstor Kirchner (2003 2007), President Cristina Fernández's husband and predecessor, have picked up

Latin America Round-Up: October 5, 2006

BRAZIL Complicated campaignIt looked like an easy first round victory for President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva until Brazil's election campaign was shaken by a convoluted corruption scandal. The president's party, the Workers Party (known as PT), has been accused

Letter from Bermuda: Tree surgery

Bermuda politics is inscrutable. Ten years ago, there was a political outcry when former long serving Premier Sir John Swan was behind a plan to open a McDonald's fast food restaurant on the Island. Opposition to this move came from

Newt Utopia: Fiber optic offers the Bahamas a bright future

The BahamasYes, it still considers itself an offshore financial center. The Bahamas offers a number of attractive features if 1) You don't live in the US, 2) You don't live in the EU, 3) You don't mind spending twice the

Latin America Round-Up: October 27, 2009

COLOMBIA Pyramid sage will be extraditedColombia's Supreme Court authorized the extradition of David Murcia Guzmán - convicted in Colombia of swindling millions of dollars from thousands of people and money laundering - to the US, where he was indicted for

Latin America Round Up: October 4, 2005

INTERNATIONAL New study on money laundering The South America Financial Action Task Force (GAFISUD) released a report in September in which it listed the different money laundering techniques that have been identified by several South American government agencies. The report

Newt Utopia: October 31, 2001

Globalization, Universal Jurisdiction and the Importance of Being Earnestly Different(Three shingles and a point) Globalization (first shingle) is the network of interdependence, at global distances, of nations and states. It is not a new concept. The first attempt at globalization

Latin America Round-Up: October 31, 2001

September 11 side effects on already slowing regional economy The attacks on the United States on September 11th will have profound economic effects, further slowing a world economy already growing at its lowest rate in a decade and speeding up

Letter from Bermuda: PLP loses what little authority it had left

Statistically, Bermuda's losses from the events of September 11 dwarf those of any other country on the planet.Two Bermudians died in the World Trade Center attacks. With fewer than 60,000 Bermudians in total, on a per capita basis, that's twice

Newt Utopia: October 31, 2002

Diamonds have been a symbol of status, power and wealth for as long as history has records. One of the most famous, the Koh i Noor or Mountain of Light, came from the historical diamond mines of the Kollur gorge

Letter from Bermuda: The Clintons visit Bermuda

"Be not afeard the isle is full of noises,Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt not."The talk in the bars last week was all about Bill. Would he come? What damage would we suffer in his wake? Was

Letter from Bermuda: a Tale of two deaths

Two leading Bermudians died within a few days of each other late this summer. The way in which their passing was received says a great deal about the nation we have become.David Allen was Minister of Tourism at the time

Latin America Round-Up: October 31, 2002

ARGENTINA The bankers' parade Michael Smith, of HSBC, declared before judge Claudio Bonadío that bribes were somewhat customary in Argentina. Smith—a British citizen who has been only months in the South American country—was testifying in a new case of alleged

Newt Utopia: November 30, 2004

Dose of reality for U. S. in loss to Antigua & Barbuda at World Trade Organization In a 273 page report - plus appendices, the World Trade Organization ruled in favor of Antigua & Barbuda in a trade dispute with

Latin America Round-Up: November 30, 2004

ARGENTINAIs he coming back? There is a lot of talk in Argentina about whether former president Carlos Menem is about to return from Chile or not. Former Senator Héctor María Maya, now one of his lawyers, announced recently that he

Newt Utopia: November 30, 2003

Independence - St. Kitts and Nevis Nevis is moving slowly towards independence. There are many issues governing that decision, but the mood of the people is neither jubilant or angry but, rather, reflects a studied approach to their situation. A