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    ICIJ Report: Mauritius Is A Thief’s Den


    Jul 26, 2019
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    Yorbing Staff Friday July 26, 2019

    *Featured Image: PGurus.com, Nov 2, 2018

    ICIJ Investigation, By Will Fitzgibbon, ‘Mauritius Leaks, Treasure Islands: Leak Reveals How Mauritius Siphons Tax From Poor Nations To Benefit Elites’, July 23, 2019.

    ICIJ July 23, 2019, Youtube.

    Check out snap shot of article below:

    ob Geldof’s firm wanted to buy a chicken farm in Uganda, one of the poorest countries on earth. But first, an errand.

    After soaring to fame in the 1980s for organizing Live Aid and other anti-famine efforts, the former Boomtown Rats rocker had shifted to the high-powered world of international finance. He founded a U.K.-based private equity firm that aimed to generate a 20% return by buying stakes in African businesses, according to a memorandum from an investor.

    The fund’s investments would all be on the African continent. Yet its London-based legal advisers asked that one of its headquarters be set up more than 2,000 miles away on Mauritius, according to a new trove of leaked documents.

    The tiny Indian Ocean island has become a destination for the rich and powerful to avoid taxes with discretion and a financial powerhouse in its own right.

    One of the discussion points in the firm’s decision: “tax reasons,” according to the email sent from London lawyers to Mauritius.

    Geldof’s investment firm won Mauritius government approval to take advantage of obscure international agreements that allow companies to pay rock-bottom tax rates on the island tax haven and less to the desperately poor African nations where the companies do business.


    Pampering elites in the Persian Gulf

    In 2012, American philanthropist Craig Cogut and his multibillion-dollar private equity firm, Pegasus Capital Advisors, looked 9,217 miles from the firm’s home base in Stamford, Conn., for a place to locate the management headquarters of one of its new investments. What unfolded is a textbook case of the way businesses can prosper by using Mauritius’ offshore tools.

    A Pegasus fund had bought Six Senses, a luxury spa and hotel brand with more than 30 operations on four continents. Frequented by Hollywood stars and other global glitterati, Six Senses drips in luxury. Villas on private islands in the Seychelles, off East Africa, cost as much as $15,000 a night. The Al Bustan Palace spa in Oman, one of the less affluent countries on the Arabian Peninsula, offers private men- and women-only beaches and personalized face scrubs made with locally grown clove and myrrh.

    The Six Senses brand, which promotes “caring for hosts [employees] and local communities” in marketing materials, was a natural addition to Pegasus’ portfolio. The firm, with $1.5 billion under management, invests in socially conscious companies that, among other things, recycle food waste and create drugs to treat diarrhea in disadvantaged children. “We care not just about impact alone, but making a ‘net-positive’ impact,” Cogut wrote in 2018.

    In May 2012, Pegasus created a company, Sustainable Luxury Mauritius Ltd., with a post office box in the Ebene, the island’s technology hub. The new company was owned by a British Virgin Islands corporation that Cogut owned personally, according to documents.

    Sustainable Luxury, which had no employees, received management income and fees for the use of the Six Senses logo at hotels and spas around the world, including two Six Senses operations in Oman, according to contracts that passed through the law firm Conyers.

    See rest of the story here.

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