By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Mon. Feb. 15, 2016: A report from the D.C.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has revealed billions of dollars held by many around the world including from the Caribbean or with ties to the region – in nearly 60,000 internal Swiss bank documents from 2006 to 2007. Among the top account names in the files the late former Haitian President Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, who was accused of having looted up to $900 million before fleeing his country.
The top 10 are as follows:
1: The Bahamas: The Bahamas was number one with over 200 accounts totaling over US$7 billion. Fifty-five Bahamian citizens or passport holders were associated with accounts at HSBC.
2: The Cayman Islands: The Cayman Islands with 212 accounts totaling US$4.3 billion made it to number two on the list but none of none of the account holders were citizens or passport holders.
3: British Virgin Islands: Coming in a number three was the British Virgin Islands with over 677 accounts worth some US$4 billion. However, none of the account holders were citizens or passport holders.
4: Barbados: Taking the number 4 spot was Barbados with US$1 billion among 14 accounts. None had Barbadian nationality or a passport.
5: Suriname: Nine accounts listing Suriname as their account location had over US$722 million in the Swiss accounts. These include one Suriname national.
6: Bermuda: There were 65 accounts associated with Bermuda that totaled over US$609 million putting it surprisingly in the 6h spot.
7: Aruba: At number 7 on the list is Aruba with five clients holding over US$480 million but none were born there.
8: Antigua & Barbuda: With over US$288 million between 7 accounts, Antigua & Barbuda took the number eight spot on the list. However, none of its own nationals had accounts there.
9: U.S. Virgin Islands: At number 9 on the top 10 list was the U.S. Virgin Islands with holding over US$83 million. Among them were five born in the US V.I.
10: Cuba: Rounding out the top ten list was Cuba with 29 clients holding over US$83 million in Swiss accounts.
A team of journalists from 45 countries unearthed the secret bank accounts maintained for criminals, traffickers, tax dodgers, politicians and celebrities. Hervé Falciani, a former HSBC Switzerland employee, leaked the accounts. The documents were obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists via the French newspaper Le Monde. ICIJ enlisted more than 140 journalists from 45 countries, including reporters from Le Monde, the BBC, The Guardian, 60 Minutes, Süddeutsche Zeitung and more than 45 other media organizations.
The reporters found the names of current and former politicians from Britain, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Kenya, Romania, India, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Tunisia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Paraguay, Djibouti, Senegal, the Philippines and Algeria, among others. They found several people on the current U.S. sanctions list, such as Selim Alguadis, a Turkish businessman alleged to have supplied sophisticated electrical goods to Libya’s secret nuclear weapons project, and Gennady Timchenko, a billionaire associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin and one of the main targets of sanctions imposed on Russian individuals and businesses in response to the annexation of Crimea and the crisis in eastern Ukraine.