The J5 tax agencies from the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, and the Netherlands have all started an investigation into the shady dealings of the Euro Pacific Bank while reportedly tampering with its public holdings for Gold.
On Sunday, October 18, millionaire investor and popular Bitcoin critic Peter Schiff‘s Euro Pacific Bank came under major investigation by the Global Tax Enforcement dubbed as the J5. Australian newspaper TheAge released the breaking news as investigators from the Australian Tax Office announced the probe along with global lawmakers. The J5 consists of the top tax agencies in the United States, Canada, UK, Australia, and the Netherlands.
The crackdown comes amidst glaring anomalies cited by the Panama Papers in the Euro Pacific Bank accounts. Reportedly, over “hundreds” of accounts of this Puerto-Rico-based banks are under tax investigations for financial crimes. Moreover, the report notes that the bank used over 400 Australian nationals, with over 100 of them considered as “high risk”.
The Euro Pacific Bank has a list of high-profile clientele including Australia’s Westpac and Perth Mint. Moreover, some of its overseas customers include the New York Federal Reserve and Canada’s Bank of Montreal. With such big clients under its belt, the bank also attracted other big customers. Unfortunately other shady businessmen and criminals.
The Puerto Rico-based bank is now under the scrutiny of the world’s largest tax evasion probe – Operation Atlantis. Some of the big names surfacing are the notorious Australian businessman and tax evader Simon Antequetil. The probe also put a light on the bank’s shady involvement in using the public holdings for Gold.
John Chevis, former Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigator said that he was very much surprised seeing the government-owned Perth Mint having a relationship with the Euro Pacific Bank. Speaking to TheAge, Chavis said:
“I think there’s a significant risk that some of the gold held within the Perth Mint by customers of the Euro Pacific Bank may be held beneficially for criminals in other parts of the world.”
Problems Deeper Than What Appears on the Surface
As reported by the Australian newspaper, the Euro Pacific Bank’s functioning can have deeper flaws than what appears on the surface. The publication notes: “The bank’s security was also a problem […] at one point, Russians tried to extort the bank for a ransom of 1000 bitcoins, worth millions of dollars.”
Surprisingly, it was just last month when TheAge interviewed Peter Schiff. Then the millionaire denied any wrongdoing by Euro Pacific. He said: “It’s got nothing to do with reality. The bank turns down far more accounts than we approve because our compliance is so rigorous”.
With such glaring details emerging out of the closet, the Australian Federal Officer John Chevis has asked the government to intervene. He asked for laws that force lawyers and accountants to report dodgy transactions.
“You would have to question why someone would place their money in a jurisdiction that’s so far away, in a bank that doesn’t pay any interest, in a bank that charges enormous fees for moving your money,” Chevis said.
Well, interestingly Schiff all this time has been criticizing Bitcoin off the bat. He foolishly questioned Bitcoin security after a Twitter hack a few months back. It looks that Schiff must first set his own house in order before pointing fingers.
Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.