Archive for March 27th, 2011

Driver abandons car and license after collision

| 27/03/2011 | 5 Comments

(CNS): The driver of a white vehicle that ran off the West Bay bypass on Saturday evening fled the scene after the car smashed into a light pole. Witnesses said the driver had also reportedly left behind his driver’s license as well as an empty bottle of wine in the floor well of the passenger side of the car  for law enforcement officials to find on their arrival. The collision occurred at around 6:45pm in the evening by the roundabout close to the Ritz-Carlton. The license coupon on the abandoned car had also expired 1 July 2010. Although police have not yet confirmed details, it is understood that no other vehicles were involved in the crash. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)
 

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UK Fraud office to pursue corrupt foreign firms

| 27/03/2011 | 0 Comments

(Guardian): The head of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is at loggerheads with ministers who are seeking to exempt overseas companies from Britain’s new Bribery Act. Speaking at an anti-corruption conference in Russia last week, Richard Alderman said he wanted the act to have a "wide jurisdiction", allowing the SFO to pursue overseas companies listed in the UK – even if they had little business activity here – whenever it was in Britain’s public interest. He said the SFO would go after corrupt foreign firms where it was clear they had won business that would otherwise have gone to a British firm. Anti-fraud experts are concerned that the justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke, is seeking to rein in the scope of the act and, in doing so, is exceeding his powers.

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60 minutes examines worlds new tax havens

| 27/03/2011 | 0 Comments

(CBS News): Just when the U.S. Treasury needs the money most, American companies are finding new ways to shift profits to overseas tax havens and legally avoid paying the U.S. tax rate of 35 percent – among the highest in the world. Those companies say they are doing what they must to compete in the global economy and please their shareholders. But others feel the companies are getting an unfair break by moving business to places like Switzerland and Ireland. Lesley Stahl reports on the debate for a "60 Minutes" story to be broadcast Sunday evening.

Weatherford International is a Texas-based oilfield services company that used to be incorporated in the Caribbean, and recently moved to the small town of Zug, Switzerland.

About 26,000 people live in this town, but some 30,000 companies are registered in the area. Weatherford’s Zug address is little more than that: an address. The company still has 2,800 workers in Houston, and an upper management that rarely goes to Zug. But incorporating here allows them to significantly lower their tax bill. The average tax rate in Zug is between 15 and 16 percent.

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Offshore banks must adapt or die in WikiLeaks era

| 27/03/2011 | 0 Comments

(Arabian Business): With former Julius Baer Group Ltd banker handing over the names of hundreds of high-profile clients with offshore bank accounts to the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, the old model of secrecy and confidentiality is dead. In an age of hyper-transparency, when everything is revealed about everyone, it is useless to think they can keep their client affairs quiet. Instead, the offshore banks must adapt or die. Instead of being secrecy hubs, they should be low-tax ones. That is the only way they can survive. These are nervous times for the smartly suited private bankers of Geneva, Liechtenstein and Grand Cayman.


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Bill Clinton arrives in dead of night

| 27/03/2011 | 86 Comments

(CNS): The 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton, is now securely hidden at the Ritz Carlton-Grand, Cayman having arrived in the Cayman Islands under the cover of darkness in the early hours of Sunday morning. The private jet carrying the former leader of the United States arrived at the Owen Roberts International Airport at around 1:30am under tight security. Local armed officers along with the secret service escorted Clinton’s motorcade to the Ritz, where he is believed to be staying and where he will be giving a lecture on Monday night at a $1,500 per ticket dinner. Although the organizers of the event have given little away, the former president will be talking on the theme of common humanity. Although described as a fundraiser in some quarters, it is not clear if it is for charity. (Photos Dennie Warren Jr). 

The event is being organised by Whisky Productions but the promoters have maintained a low profile. It is understood that Clinton will not attend the pre-dinner cocktail party or the dinner, but will appear at the allotted time for the lecture.

According to the release from Whisky, Clinton will be presenting "Embracing our common humanity", a lecture he gave to an audience in Jamaica last October.

Clinton, who served two terms as president, was a controversial but popular leader. He was infamously impeached by the House of Representatives on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice on 19 19 December 1998 but was acquitted by the Senate in the February of the following year. Two other impeachment articles, a second perjury charge and a chargeof abuse of power, failed in the House. The charges arose from the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the Paula Jones lawsuit.

Clinton, whose presidency has been defined by its mix of conservatism and liberalism (he is now said to be very close to the 43 president George Bush), now speaks on a diversity of issues, such as HIV aids, climate change, sustainable development, the challenges of globalization and many other progressive topics.

These days Clinton travels the world giving lectures on talks and last week was in Nigeria with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the guest of honour at the African nation’s good governance awards.

 

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