Apologies for not posting recently, and further apologies in advance as I may not post much in coming weeks. Daytime reality, sadly, is getting in the way of my other interests.
But for now, this (see http://www.gov.im/lib/news/hr/iomcs/isleofmancivilse.xml ) makes amusing reading to anyone who has been around offshore finance long enough to remember ‘the Sark Lark’.
For those that don’t, it was a scam, ended around 2003 on ‘advice’ from the OECD Financial Action Task Force (see http://www.fatf-gafi.org/ ), whereby
Sark residents were recruited to
act as ‘directors’ and’ trustees’ of shady offshore structures. Not professionals
with business qualifications or experience of, say, banking and trust
management, mind you, but simple souls who could just about spell their own names,
and not much else. To be fair, Sark wasn’t the
only place this happened in the bad old days, and much of the recruiting was
done by Manx outfits whose staff will have now retired – some from senior
government posts and with honours from Her Maj.
Actually, that isn’t the only reason it makes amusing reading. For some time I’ve been following the civil war on
Sark between the
locals and two unpopular newcomers (who just happen to run a large bank).
Private Eye has carried some of the best stories, but http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jun/28/grandees-sarkees-channel-island-feud will give you a pretty good idea what Mr Kniveton is walking into. However, if you really want on-the-spot progress reports from a native, keep an eye on http://ebenezerlepage.blogspot.co.uk/ , where, somehow, I feel sure we will soon be reading a somewhat frank appraisal of his progress. Meanwhile, if you’ve ever had dealings with Sark, take a read through to find what names behind the illegible scribbles on many a corporate document are doing since their old ‘business empires’ collapsed earlier this decade.