Watchdog launches website with Mac as lead story

| 23/08/2011

(CNS): The long standing newsletter highlighting the ups and downs of the offshore world has launched a new website. Originally a monthly subscription newsletter, OffshoreAlert, which is known as the unofficial watchdog of the offshore financial industry, has turned into a modern interactive site. David Marchant, owner and editor, said the focus remains the same as it was 14 years ago when he started with a faxed news letter, which is to provide subscribers with credible information about offshore financial centres, but now the site includes more tools to make that happen more effectively. The revamp was unveiled this week with the Cayman Islands premier the subject of the site’s news lead.

The website reports that McKeeva Bush is “embroiled in yet another scandal” as a result of revelations in Cayman about the investigation into financial irregularities concerning a letter Bush sent to developer Stan Thomas over land once owned by the American in Cayman. Marchant also reveals that a list of questions sent to the Cayman premier by OffshoreAlert about the probe went unanswered.

Speaking about the new site, Marchant states that in future OffshoreAlert will be able to update news from the offshore world as it happens.

"OffshoreAlert's aim is to become the go-to website for anyone looking for credible and accurate information about offshore financial centers and those who conduct business in and through them,” Marchant said. "Our target audience falls into three categories: providers, buyers and investigators of offshore products and services.”

However, Marchant said one of the key focuses of the website will be to continue to focus on fraud and corruption investigations, not least because of his ability to avoid legislation in OFCs that otherwise curtail media freedom. “One of the reasons that fraud and corruption thrives in OFCs is because they typically have draconian libel laws that discourage journalists from exposing illegal activity. OffshoreAlert is not bound by such laws,” Marchant added.

"Now that OffshoreAlert has a website that allows us to publish news and documents as we receive them, I encourage residents of OFCs to send us anything they believe will be of interest and which the local media will not publish for fear of a libel complaint. Any information we receive will be treated in confidence," Marchant promised.

Alongside the exposé news stories, guest blogs and commentaries, the new website also offers an extensive document library and search facility to subscribers, including court filings, indictments and extraditions.  

Visit the new look OffshoreAlert website

Category: Business

Comments (31)

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  1. Afraid to Strap on a Pair Also says:

    Excellent.  Cayman, you've been outted.  

  2. Anonymous says:

    This posting debate actually astonishes me.  Dagny does raise a good point in that Offshore Alert is a publication with a mandate to smear the reputation of this jurisdiction.  I will not argue that there have not been bad characters here over the years and I do hope that they all get their just desserts.  But this is not a situation that is specific to the Cayman Islands – unfortunately crooks live and work everywhere, including in David Marchant's resident country the US and his home country the UK.   I don't believe that his newsletter covers either of these jurisdictions.

    The part that I have found missing from Offshore Alert's reporting are the results of a dismissed investigation, or dropped charges.  So, some could congratulate him for uncovering the criminals, but if a person is actually found to be innocent, where are the retractions?  I am not an Offshore Alert subscriber, so correct me if I am wrong in this statement, but my perceptions from a few of the stories that I am familiar with is that apologies or retractions are not part of the newsletter. 

    there are reasonable statistics that support the laws and regulations of Cayman that show that this jurisdiction has been diligent and cooperative in catching criminals.   As an internationally recognised financial centre, Cayman, and the people who work in this industry provide necessary and legitimate services that improve capital flows all around the world.  

    The saddest part about all of this is that Cayman and its local economy has been and remains tied to the success of its financial services industry, yet so many of the people here (by counting up the posts here) firmly believe that the only purpose of this industry is to aid an abet criminals.  Nothing could be further from the truth, despite what Mr. Marchant would tell his subscribers.

     

    • David Marchant says:

      So, notwithstanding your admission that you have never subscribed to OffshoreAlert and, therefore, are in no position to comment intelligently about the quality of its work, you nevertheless know that 'Dagny' (whoever he or she may be) makes "a good point", that content is "missing" from OffshoreAlert, that the "mandate" of OffshoreAlert is to "smear the reputation of this jurisdiction" and that you know what we do and don't "tell our subscribers".

      Either you have extraordinary psychic abilities or you are extraodindarily ignorant.

      And your comment that you "don't believe" OffshoreAlert covers the USA or the UK indicates that, apart from not subscribing, you haven't even visited our web-site. If you had, you could have gone – for free, no less – to the 'News By Jurisdiction' section and clicked on 'USA' or 'UK' and seen all of the content that we have regarding these jurisdictions.

       

  3. Anonymous says:

    Mr. David Marchant the people of the Cayman Islands are not responsible for the actions of law breakers and please do not judge us by the actions of a few.  It seems to me that  poster Dagny has something to hide thus his/her personal attack. 

    Caymanians are not willing to damage the reputation of these islands beyond repair because of a few crooked individuals that you choose to report on.  I just wish that you were able to give the public an option to pay for service per article instead of a subscription fee. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    If the Premier is innocent then the allegations will run as water off a duck's back and he has nothing to fear.  Hon Premier if all is not well get it right, please step aside and save youself and the country the embarrassment.

    David Marchant is only writing what we all know, it was confirmed by the Governor that the Premier is under investigation and we all saw copies of the infamous "Stan Thomas" letter. When why in God's name would  poster  "Dagnay" choose to discredit David Marchant on this issue? I guess maybe he/she has a beef with the OffshoreAlert in this regards. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank the Lord that the Offshore Alert magazine is not free or inexpensive.  I justhope that our leaders get it together before its too late.  People need to have more control over what they write because the pen is much mightier than the sword.

  6. Dagny says:

    Marchant thrives on printing fiction as if it were fact.  The investigation against the Premier is still just that – an investigation.  One should also note that this investigation has been going on for more than a year, which should at least raise some questions about the validity of the evidence that has been presented.   Besides, in true respect for rule of law, the man is innocent until proven guilty.

    For the life of me, I cannot understand why Marchant gets one scrap of support from anyone in this country – either public endorsement, or even worse, subscrbers or sponsors.  All of those local companies who sponsor his conference or subcribe to his newsletter ought to be ashamed of themselves.  There is one way to drown him out and that is to suffocate him with lack of funding.  But, people subscribe just to make sure that they are not the latest lead character in Marchant's fairy tale world.

    Marchant would not know credible journalism if he fell over it.  Journalism, as it should be clarified, does not mean simply regurgitating what is found on the internet – unless you believe that everything you find on the internet to be true.  He prints speculation and half truths as if it were fact.  If you have ever known the true background to any of the stories he has published, you would know this to be true.

    Unfortuately, Marchant is not subject to our 'draconian libel laws" which gives him the indiscriminate ability to print whatever he dreams up about people, denying them any kind of legal recourse.  This is not the spirit of credible journalism.  It is called slander.

    The good thing is, that anyone I know who has been mentioned in his trashy mag treats it as water off a duck's back.   It is in the same league category as, say "the National Enquirer".  No one believes any of their tripe, either.

     

    • Village Vicar says:

      Dagny you have no clue what you are talking about. So far Misick has not been arrested in TCI.Why? Because they are still investigating the huge amount of dealings he got into. If you knew anything about finance you would know all the complexities when conducting cross border investigations. Mr Merchant has done an excellent job in bringing fraud and corruption to the public through his website and annual conferences. He identified Stanbrook as being corrupt long before the officials closed it down. He knows exactly what he is doing and is fearless. He has never lost a legal battle with regard to libel.
      As to our beloved Premier after today’s news about the Cohen loss of money it is time he went. Obviously his experience as a banker at First Cayman Bank was not enough to appoint himself Minister of Finance and All Tings.
      Bet he goes within next two months, voluntary or otherwise.

      • Dagny says:

        Um – Stanford?  Right.  I am obviously debating with the well-informed.

        Forget what you think I do or do not know about cross border financial transactions, the issue here is about Marchant.  You say he has never lost a legal battle with regard to libel.  As he states in his own press release, it is quite hard for him to lose such a battle when he writes about people who live in other countries and are therefore not able to pursue a case against him.  An inability to prosecute doesn't indicate a lack of will from those who have been subject to his undeserved and slanderous stories.

        • Village Vicar says:

          Although David has clearly addressed your email it is patently obvious that you have no clue as to what his company is about. Amongst other things he gives red flags to investors who may otherwise invest in the wrong company. If you are not acquainted with Stanford, the biggest crook in the Caribbean for years then you are also ill read. His conferences attract international speakers and participants and the content is of the highest order. May I suggest that you confine your comments to those subjects,if any, you are able to comment upon in a meaningful manner.

          • Anonymous says:

            It looks like Dagny was pointing out in the post above that you had referred to Stanford as "Stanbrook". 

        • Anonymous says:

          Dagny, you appear to be quite clueless, remember Segoes and James Kaweske? Mr. Marchant was brave enough to write about him nefore anyone else bothered to, Kaweske is now a fugitive of the Cayman justice system after he swindled many local investors. Mr. Kaweske was given status in the 2003 mass grants by guess who? Your comments about Mr. Marchant have no basis in fact. He is a true, dogged investigative journalist, our main local paper could learn a lot from him.

          • Anonymous says:

            Segoes and James Kaweske.. oh yes please, where are they now?  Segoes oh yeah the trading company that was suppose to be the pioneer for online trading in the Cayman Islands and another one of those "investors" that had the silver solution for the financial industry the same Segoes that loved to take the credit for the down fall of C&W in Cayman.  Oh please Mr. Marchant give us some of your excellent investigative journalism and  do a piece on James Kaweske and the major players of Segoes.  I would like to see them get the same fate as Marc E. Harris, Sir Allan Stanford and the many more that you were able to expose thus saving potential investors from financial ruins. 

    • David Marchant says:

      Re. "Marchant thrives on printing fiction as if it were fact.  The investigation against the Premier is still just that – an investigation."

      It's obvious that you haven't even read the headline of the OffshoreAlert story ('Cayman Premier McKeeva Bush under investigation for suspected corruption'), much less the actualarticle. OffshoreAlert reported that Mr. Bush was being investigated for corruption, which is true and, in fact, a statement that you actually agreed with in your posting. It is difficult to imagine how someone can agree with such a statement and yet, at the same time, also consider it to be 'fiction'.

      If you actually believe that OffshoreAlert routinely publishes – or, indeed, has ever in its entire 14-year history published – anything that is inaccurate, please provide a single specific example. This should be easy for you to do, unless, of course, your comments are without foundation and were made emotionally, rather than intelligently.

      Re. "Unfortuately, Marchant is not subject to our 'draconian libel laws" which gives him the indiscriminate ability to print whatever he dreams up about people, denying them any kind of legal recourse.  This is not the spirit of credible journalism.  It is called slander."

      Er no … it's called libel, something I'm very familiar with because I've successfully defended every libel action that has ever been brought against me or my company. The first person who sued for libel (Marc M. Harris), a case that went to trial, is now serving 17 years in prison after being found guilty of tax evasion and money laundering. He sued me for libel and I went to the US authorities. No prizes for guessing who won that battle!

    • Anonymous says:

      You said: "One should also note that this investigation has been going on for more than a year, which should at least raise some questions about the validity of the evidence that has been presented".

      The desperate hope of a fanatical UDP supporter. Anyone familiar with criminal investigations involving financial transactions will know that no such inference can be drawn. If in fact the police had concluded that there was no valid evidence of a crime having been committed they would simply have closed their investigation and, now that the cat is out of the bag, announced that to the public.  Instead it means one of two things:

      (1) the investigation has widened and involves a great deal more evidence, witnesses etc.

      (2) the matter is being buried.   

      If the Premier wants to show that the evidence which is in the public domain is not valid as evidence of bribery or extortion then, presuming his innocence, he should be able to do that very easily. It would be in his interest to do so rather than allowing himself and the country to suffer grave reputational damage. Instead what we should note is that this investigation has been going on for more than a year and the Premier has failed to explain a letter in which makes a demand for $350,000 as the balance owing when the only service the letter mentions is "ensuring Cabinet approval of rezoning".     

    • Anonymous says:

       

      I must say, I really enjoy reading post that bash David Marchant, mostly because it brings the scum of the earth out of the wood works and then poof,  they disappear.

      Oh Dagny, Dagny, Dagny,  What did you do now? What kind of trouble have you gotten in? Did Marchant expose your Ponzi scheme and now you are having trouble recruiting new customer?

      Surely you have joined the dark side so please tell us why you hate Marchant? Enquiring minds want to know!

    • Anonymous says:

      Doesn't matter.  In the world of finance, reputation is everything.  The slightest smear on a company's reputation can put it out of business. This is why it is so important for the Cayman Islands to be seen to do what is right.  Once our reputation is totally ruined, and let's face it, we have plenty of people trying to do that already, i.e. President Obama and his government, then we are up the creek!

      • David Marchant says:

        OffshoreAlert is not out to "ruin" the reputation of the Cayman Islands and I don't think that the exposure of a single politician will unduly negatively affect the jurisdiction.

        It will only really hurt Cayman if the jurisdiction does nothing about it. The measure of any jurisdiction is, when evidence is presented, do the authorities bury their collective head in the sand (which is a sign of institutionalised corruption) or do they conduct a proper and transparent investigation.

        Frankly, if Cayman ignores this matter (as many residents fear and which appears to be what has happened), the jurisdiction deserves to be ridiculed. However, if Cayman conducts a proper investigation, the jurisdiction's repuation will be enhanced.

        Dubious politicians and businesspeople exist everywhere, including the USA (where there is a rampant problem). It's how you respond that determines the consequences.

         

        • McCarron McLaughlin says:

          I have to agree with you Mr. Merchant, this is the only jurisdiction on planet earth that accepts this type of crap.

          If I was employed by the government and I gave my friend a $5.00 dog license for free, I would be terminated immediately, but yet we have our leader that is under criminal investigation and the establisment just turns a blind eye.

          Still can't figure it out.

  7. Libertarian says:

    God help us if the subscribers should ever read the comments posted on CNS

  8. Anonymous says:

    This means that Mr. Marchant and all his staff and anyone associated with him is a drunken devil worshiper.

    Watch out Mac will sue!!!

    • Judge Dredd says:

      Mac is unlikely to ever bring a civil suit because that would reduce the balance of proof in respect of the allegations against him to a balance of probabilities in front of a judge rather than beyond reasonable doubt in front of a hapless local jury.

  9. My2cents says:

    “One of the reasons that fraud and corruption thrives in OFCs is because they typically have draconian libel laws that discourage journalists from exposing illegal activity. OffshoreAlert is not bound by such laws,” Marchant added.

    As long as you are not in the jurisdiction, then yes you are not bound by their laws. The  moment you set foot in a jurisdiction, of course you become bound to follow their laws. So assuming he never sets foot in Cayman, how can he claim to be a credible journalist?

    Surely he will not simply rely on people sending him news articles?

    • B.B.L. Brown says:

      I would think all editors/publications rely on information from outside the office.  It's not possible to be physically present at every news scene.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you really that fool fool?  Wait.  If I am assuming you have never set foot off of Cayman that explains it.

  10. nauticalone says:

    Good job Mr. Marchant.

    The more Transparency we have, the more we might expect Real/True Accountability/Good Governance to actually become more than just Politically Expedient Soundbites!

    • Y U T E says:

      I hope the premier is damn well proud of himself & what he has to our beautiful islands. And he claims he loves Cayman, & he claims that he is a christian? Give me a break! Have you ever seen a christian behave this way? Have you ever seen someone who loves Cayman do these things that are hurting the Cayman Islands so badly? I really hope that he is proud of himself! Shame on you Bush, shame on you.

  11. Bush-Whacked... says:

    How embarrassing!!!  Bayer's, you proud now??  Tap your chests in a sign of awe and support of your Greeder…

  12. Sick and Tired of the B..,S..... says:

    Maybe David Marchant can stir the Governor or the FCO into some recognition of what is happening right under their respective noses, with Beloved leader's increasing personal control of what happens, or ,more importantly, what does not. It is unconscionable that, having confirmed Mac was under investigation, the Governor has provided no update, and the very MLA's who asked the question in the first place seem to have lost interest.

    • Anonymous says:

      MLA's (backbenchers) ask questions, seek answers, but there isn't anyone on the bridge to man the ship.  We need a Captain, the FCO needs tosend us one ASAP.