COMMENTARY — ‘A territory in denial’ – The

Ongoing research has uncovered that the benefits of the enormous profits made from the trans-Atlantic slave trade permeated British society. In the Virgin Islands, the International Business Companies Act 1984 transformed the territory’s poor subsistence economy into one of the most affluent in the region, but the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists exposed in the Panama Papers that a large number of companies registered by Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca were used to conceal illicit operations.

Before Mossack was fined and left the VI, its operations had brought great financial benefits from taxes and employment to the territory. Nevertheless, corruption in any remaining companies must be exposed, best done perhaps by agents pursuing more vigorous “know your customer” checks when renewing registrations.

News that a Russian billionaire reportedly used multiple VI companies for fraud and money laundering while exploiting his connections with Prince Charles’s charitable work is the latest example of the way

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