Just weeks after allegations linking the Isle of Man to a multi-million pound bribery scandal involving a pharmaceutical company and Greek doctors a much more sinister allegation concerning so-called “shell companies” in the offshore tax haven has been made.
The influential New York Times and other news sources have indicated the Iranian governments shipping arm, IRISL, has been using “shell companies” in the Isle of Man and other jurisdictions to conceal the identity and operations of its world wide fleet, some of whom are believed to be involved in sanctions-busting by carrying materials critical to Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons programme.
The two issues (of which the latter is the most serious) indicate that despite claims by the Isle of Man government that it has cleaned up its act it still adopts a `light-touch’ approach to International regulation which allows its jurisdiction to be used by individuals and governments.
The Iranian connection is all the more embarrassing for the Manx government in a week during which it has announced `compliance’ with new UN sanctions against that State (see below);
Previous high-profile scandals include the involvement of Manx companies in the shipment of arms to Rwanda almost two decades ago which fuelled the genocide in that country. Manx linked companies have since been associated with the exploitation of resources in Congo and West Africa and in stoking the conflict there.
Links to the New York Times article and other items on the IRISL link here:
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information