British Virgin Islands BVI Offshore Asset Tracing Investigations.
Businesses and individuals use offshore companies to protect their identity and in many cases commit a fraud. Of course this is not the only reason why offshore companies are used, being tax planning a common reason why multi-national companies incorporate in friendly jurisdictions.
Some tax havens are more used than others because of the legislation protecting the anonymity of the real beneficiaries of the companies. Among those, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and the Cayman Islands (Cayman) are very popular, although adoption of international agreements is shifting incorporation to other tax havens.
One feature of many offshore companies is that they do not have to make a public disclosure of their register of members or register of directors, consequently, when liquidators and/or claimants encounter an offshore company in the course of an investigation, they think they have to stop their research there. While it is generally true, jurisdictions such as the BVI and the Cayman provide a number of options for discovering information about the offshore company provided the right circumstances exist. When you need to obtain such information, you need the help of private investigators and private detectives expert in BVI offshore asset tracing investigations.
In the BVI and Cayman, companies are required to keep their memorandum and articles of association, register of members, register of directors, copies of notices filed at the Registry, copies of all resolutions and minutes of all meetings of directors, members, committees of directors, committees of members, an imprint of the common seal and financial records sufficient to show and explain the company’s transactions and that will enable the financial position of the company to be determined with reasonable accuracy.
The BVI Business Companies Act (BVIBCA) requires that copies of all of these records except for the financial records have to be kept at the registered office of the company within the BVI. The Companies Law of the Cayman Islands (CLCI) requires only that the register of directors and officers and register of mortgages be maintained at the registered office.
However, most of such information which is available at the registered office cannot usually be accessed by those who do not have an ownership or management interest in the company. But, in case of a proceeding against a company, the local court can require full disclosure of relevant information.
The registered agents of companies are required by law to carry out a certain standard of KYC (know-your-client) due diligence in respect of each company in its portfolio, therefore they should know the real beneficiaries of each company they manage. So, the Registered Agent is a good target for information and relief ordered by the Court.
In appropriate cases, a Norwich Pharmacal Order, which requires a third party to disclose documents, may be obtained against the registered agent of a BVI or Cayman company. These orders are made in an expanding number of cases where information could assist in proving that the person against whom the order is sought knows the identity of an alleged fraudster.
There have also been cases where the BVI or Cayman courts have granted an interim receivership order to assist in securing assets of a company pending trial.
The BVIBCA and CLCI also make provision for a member of a company to apply to the Court for an investigation order in certain cases of fraud. In this case, the Court has a wide range of powers including authorizing the inspector to enter premises, requiring any person to produce documents or records, conduct hearings and prepare a report which is to be sent to any person the Court designates.
In conclusion, while most tax havens have law and practice that protect the anonymity of offshore companies, they also have tools to discourage abuses and assist in bringing fraudsters to justice, that is why the help of professionals specialised in BVI offshore asset tracing investigations is paramount.
If you need to start an offshore investigation or a legal proceeding in tax havens, ISOG private investigators, private detectives and lawyers can help you.
ISOG private investigators, private detectives, forensic experts, lawyers and attorneys at law are expert in BVI offshore asset tracing investigations.