The first thing to realize about a “secret account” sometimes referred to by the euphemism “offshore account” is that in order to be kept secret from your potential enemies (creditors and tax collectors) it must be kept secret from everyone! Generally speaking, a stranger you meet at a bar or ball game isn’t the person who turns you in to a tax collector or otherwise blows the whistle on you. Besides Big Brother, your potential enemies include your spouse, lover(s), your business associates or partners, your own kids. These days, you must add to the list of potential informants against you, your accountant(s) or lawyer(s). Your accountant, lawyer, stockbroker or local banker in many jurisdictions, particularly the US, is personally liable for criminal prosecution if he has knowledge of any concealment of assets, tax frauds, or other peccadilloes; if your own hired hands don’t turn you in they may be breaking the law! New regulations make these professionals in your home country little more than government agents.
They are like Deputy Sheriffs. If you don’t want Sheriff Big Brother to know exactly what you are doing then for heaven’s sake, don’t tell the Deputy Sheriff! These “professionals” are not on your side. Because of laws that will take away their licenses, livelihood and possibly their freedom, they have been co-opted. They are now in the enemy camp. As such, accountants and lawyers are the last persons you should trust with sensitive information or from whom you seek advice on “offshore matters.” Bottom line? You must now establish your secret offshore accounts or secret asset stashes without telling anyone in your home country, and especially without telling anyone in the above categories.
The second thing to realize is that in most countries of the first world, where the vast majority of our readers are located, every citizen is forced to have and use a fiscal identification number. Not using this number or giving a false number is usually an offense in itself. Countries not having such a system are contemplating it. Only recently have Spain and Australia adopted the policy of requiring a fiscal Ю number for everyone. In Spain, even tourists who want a telephone, electric service or a local bank account must obtain a fiscal number. In the US, it’s now a major “felony” crime to use the wrong number by mistake (accidentally on purpose), transpose figures or otherwise attempt to defeat the system! In case you had any doubt, there is no such thing as financial privacy in most of our own countries any more. The unique number assigned to you alone enables the government or a creditor to identify and seize any asset in the jurisdiction belonging to you, even if it is deposited in a variant of your name.
For an example of how insidious these seizure powers are, consider this: many years ago, on his child’s first birthday one of our American clients opened a bank account at his own bank for his one year old son. The son’s name was different from his own, although the surname was of course the same. As the baby had no “social security number” yet, the father gave his own number to meet the bank’s requirements. Twenty-eight years later, the son’s account had grown to a very substantial sum, all of which had been earned and saved by the son, not the father.
The father became involved in a civil tax dispute* As a result» the US Interna) Revenue without any notice or trial seized every penny in the son’s account. There was no court order* and no notice to his son. His checks just started bouncing. His bank said: “Under the law we must turn over all your money to any IRS agent who presents us with an order. The IRS agent can write it out on the spot w ithout consulting anyone else.” The son spent a fortune in legal fees to get his money back, but even after many years of litigating and unquestionable proof that all but US $10 w as strictly his own money, he was unable to make a recovery. Needless to say, this resulted in a family estrangement! Thus it is obvious that if you want any protection at all against arbitrary seizure, any “secret” account must be in a foreign country where you neither live, do business, have a home, nor have any other connection, property or business interests, aside from the account itself. This assures that the government in the country where your bank account or other assets are deposited has no tax or other claims against you.
Your address, as know n to the foreign bank should not be your home address, but rather * maildrop in a third country.
This third country (where you have your maildrop) is preferably a banking and tax haven unlikely ever to have any information-exchanging treaty or mutual assistance on collections treaty with the country where you bank or where you live. There is always the possibility that a foreign country with no prior tradition of co-operating with the enemy will adopt a new policy. If you have the insulation of three countries you are safer! a) Passport country, b) Maildrop country of presumed residence and c) Banking country’. All these plus a new name give plenty of insulation!
What happened to Ferdinand Marcos, ex-dictator of the Philippines? The US government invited him to take sanctuary and retire in the US. When he arrived, US customs seized his typed out lists of foreign investments and bank accounts, many of which were held in Switzerland. Then, at the request of the Philippine government, Switzerland froze his accounts, some of which were immediately transferred to the personal accounts of lawyers for the corrupt New Philippines Good Government Association.
Note: All recoveries by this organization have already disappeared into private pockets Marcos then died. Mrs Marcos sought to protect her remaining Swiss funds (held in the names of foundations) with a court action. She got Swiss courts to rule that her accounts coold not be taken from her without a criminal conviction in her own country for having stolen the money. The criminal cases are pending. Had Marcos not had a typed, uncoded list of his accounts on his person when he crossed a border, his money held in other names and foundations would be safe for his family today. He made the mistake of trusting the US government to honor its promises to him. You should know better. Never trust any government!
Your new account must not be established with funds transferred directly from any bank or source in your home country that is traceable to you. In other words, if you w ant something to be a secret, don’t leave a paper trail. Above all, your new account, if it is to be secret, should be known only to yourself and your new banker. You must not ever keep paperwork, statements, nor even the name and address or telephone number of your secret offshore hank written down or on your person. How do you remember it? The information must h? in a code that is not obvious and easily broken. Mirror writing (gnitirw rorriM) or writing backwards is so obvious even a child could decode it. Information should definitely not be kept in a safety deposit box in your home country. Such boxes can be easily opened by a creditor or tax collector without your authorization. A box in a foreign country, especially if it is kept in a different (banking passport) name is secure, if you don’t identify it for your potential enemies.
Your new account itself, for extra safety, should not be in your own name. Your new bankers should not know your real country of origin (birth), citizenship, residence, nor anything about you to enable them to link you with your true identity and citizenship.