El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana

El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana
The Conquistador who put the Amazaon baisn "on the map"....Francisco Orellana

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

GERMANY SPIES ON LIECHTENSTEIN

No, it is not World War II again. However, over 125 police raids were launched last week on the private homes and offices of over 1,000 German citizens for income tax evasion for having secret bank accounts in Liechtenstein.

The German secret police, the Federal Intelligence Services (BND), paid $7.3 Million USD bribe to a disgruntled employee of LGT Bank in Liechtenstein for stolen secret data base of Germans with accounts at the bank. This was a serious violation of Liechtenstein's bank secrecy laws.

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück authorized the payment. That is equivalent to the U.S. secretary of State authorizing the CIA to pay a bribe to an official of a European bank to disclose all of the American account holders.

German Chancellor Angela Merkle defended this bribe and threatened Liechtenstein with European Union isolation unless the small nation (population 35,000) eased its strict banking secrecy laws. Germany's population is 82.4 million. Chancellor Merkel, speaking in Berlin after a meeting with Otmar Hasler, Liechtenstein's prime minister, accused the principality's banks of "encouraging lawbreaking" in Germany by offering services allowing tax evasion. She did not address whether bribery by the BND is lawbreaking as well.

German tax officials claimed that their government loses nearly $6 Billion per year to offshore tax havens.

Crown Prince Alois von und zu of Liechtenstein called Germany's intelligence methods and bribes an "attack" on the principality. "Germany has clearly failed to understand how one behaves toward a friendly state,'' Alois said. "Germany won't solve the problems of its tax system with this attack on Liechtenstein,'' he added.

"If media reports are to be believed, German authorities paid a criminal to obtain stolen data,'' Alois said. "We reject this action." Alois also praised the laws Liechtenstein has passed since 2000 to enhance transparency and combat money laundering. Still, he said, the country won't surrender its policy of strict bank secrecy and would continue to welcome German investors.

Bank secrecy is part of Liechtenstein's "basic attitude and tradition," as the country's website states. Financial institutions in Liechtenstein strictly reject all requests for account information from German or any other tax investigators, but they do cooperate in tax fraud investigations.

The United State's IRS is asking Germany for access to this stolen bank account data to see if any of their citizens have secret bank accounts.

Liechtenstein is not a member of the 27 country European Union. However, it has partly committed to the EU's economy and regulations by becoming a member of a single economic market through the European Economic Area (EEA) that includes use of the Euro currency.

According to the Wikipedia Encyclopedia, the European Economic Area (EEA) was created in January of 1994 following an agreement between three member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the European Community (EC), and the European Union (EU). It allows these EFTA countries to participate in the European Single Market without joining the EU.

European influences over Liechtenstein and other neighboring countries (like Switzerland) by EU members wishing to stop their citizens from banking offshore to collect more taxes makes Panama more attractive.

Panama is a sovereign nation with no tax treaties with the USA, Canada, or EU members. Panama's anonymous offshore corporation laws have been in existence since 1927. Panama's bank secrecy laws are amongst the strictest in the world.

While no tax haven country can guarantee that EU nations won't bribe bank employees for a list of their depositors, the criminal penalties for violating Panama's corporate and bank secrecy laws are strict enough to discourage such temptations.

Panama Offshore Legal Services offers anonymous "bearer" share corporations, Private Interest Foundations, and secret bank account introductions at much lower prices than European tax havens and you don't have to worry that the German government will bribe Panama bankers.

Panama Offshore Legal Services
www.panama-offshore-services.com

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