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Messing with trouble Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 19 May 2016 00:00

The PUP it seems is now resolute in it’s decision to go and provoke an international incident in the Sarstoon. They have announced their intention to go to the Starstoon to try stage some sort of protest. According to them they will go on Saturday of this week, even though there is an S.I. in effect that prohibits Belizeans from entering the Sarstoon, if it is not a part of one’s regular routine . They have been warned by their own legal advisor, not to go while the S.I. remains law for the next week or so. The S.I. is only a temporary measure but is in place to give government and the Guatemalans a chance to work out a protocol for the way to travel in the area. At the same time giving peace a chance to work in the area whilst we try and work out a solution to the problem of the unfounded Guatemalan claim that has hung over our heads for over 150 years .

However the PUP don’t want any of that. They seem to want a confrontation with the Guatemalan military that has been venturing into the Belizean waters and doing their best to try and portray that they are in Guatemalan territory. Even our Military and our Coast Guard working and patrolling that area have faced that type of affront from the Guatemalan military, but our servicemen and servicewomen have remained steadfast and professional in the face of the aggressive behavior of the Guatemalans .

PUP has said that they are not looking for a confrontation, but according to what we have heard from PUP’s Senator/Ambassador Eamon Courtenay, we can only conclude one thing and that is that the PUP is looking for trouble. According to Courtenay and we quote directly from an interview he gave Love FM on Tuesday of this week . “... we need to go down there and confront them. When we go to the OAS we want to go with videos showing the OAS Secretary General and the International Community what is happening, that we are dealing with a renegade state and the facts on the ground are important.”

After hearing or reading that, any sensible person may draw the same conclusion as we did. It is like a woman who is abused by her spouse saying that she will provoke her abusive spouse, so that she can record him on video whilst he is beating her so that she may be able to show their neighbors and friends that he beats her. As Belizeans we are hoping that if they do go that no harm will be done to them. We would not like to see any Belizean hurt, even if they are our political opponents. They like all other Belizeans are our brothers and sisters. We wish them a safe trip and a safe return.

 
No noise about the Panama Papers Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 07 April 2016 00:00

The so called Panama Papers have taken the financial world by storm, 2.6 terabytes of information with 11 million files have caused much concern across the world. It is of so much concern that one head of state, the Prime Minister of Iceland, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, opted to resign from his post. This came after the files obtained from the Panamanian law firm Mossack and Fonseca proved that he did not declare millions of dollars in assets. He used the law firm to create shell companies which were set up to hide his assets.

The leak of financial records was revealed over this past weekend after the information was passed over to the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung which shared it with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIIJ). They in turn shared it with over a hundred news agencies and have promised to release it in its entirety next month. In the meantime over 300 investigative journalists have poured over the documents and have so far determined that 12 current or former world leaders as well as 128 other politicians can be linked to the Panama Papers.

It seems that the company Mossack and Fonseca had through its offshore operations been doing business with all manner of persons both with legitimate businesses, world leaders and even criminal elements all over the world. Belize having its fair share of offshore operations is also connected to the Panama Papers. That connection comes by way of Michael Ashcroft. According to the ICIIJ Belize Corporate Services (BCS) which is a subsidiary to BCB Holdings began using Mossack Fonseca to provide shell companies for its clients in 2006. BCS reportedly also owns Belize Bank International and Belize Bank Limited.

In November of 2013 Belize Bank International established a new company owned by Jurgen Mossack,  Ramon Fonseca and Christopher Zollinger. The new firm is called M.F. & Co. (Belize) Limited and that company along with BCS created companies and acted as registered agents in Belize. Belize has an International Financial Services Commission which says M.F. & Company Belize Limited is located at #15 ‘A’ Street Belize City, which is the same location where Eamon Courtenay has his law firm. Courtenay is a PUP appointed Senator so his name even being called in the entire ordeal proves that the ICIIJ’s report that the Panama Papers implicate a number of politicians is not untrue, at least not in Belize.

On Tuesday of this week, Channel 7 News reported that they contacted Courtenay who told them that Prudential Trust Corporation Ltd which handled the M.F. & Company account is registered by the International Financial Services Commission of Belize and that any queries regarding their operations should be directed to them or to Mossack Fonseca in Panama.

That kind of response is the quintessential reason for the setting up of shell companies. With the gates guarded by attorneys who know the law and can bypass legal requirements, shell companies are created and are guarded in this fashion making it virtually impossible to determine who owns the companies. Now the question is, what kind of ramifications exist when the address of a PUP Senator’s business address can be linked to the doings of a company like Mossack  and Fonseca?

Those who are always all too ready to make noise about these kinds of things seem to be mute on the subject and we wonder why that is?