Monday 22 October 2018

Court file led to probe on McLaughlin


INTEREST in Kyran McLaughlin's associations with the Ansbacher funds and potential offshore tax evasion schemes was sparked by a High Court affidavit filed four months ago.

INTEREST in Kyran McLaughlin's associations with the Ansbacher funds and potential offshore tax evasion schemes was sparked by a High Court affidavit filed four months ago.

It was part of the Tanaiste Mary Harney's case to secure the appointment of High Court inspectors into the affairs of Ansbacher (Cayman).

In it, it was alleged that a senior Irish business figure, believed to be Mr McLaughlin, had prepared a detailed advice note on how the Ansbacher operation could be used by wealthy Irish people to avoid tax here.

He has denied that, stating that he received these proposals from John Furze in 1983 at a meeting requested by Mr Furze but never followed them up.

Mr Furze, based in Grand Cayman, ran Mr Traynor's deposits there, and took over control following Mr Traynor's death.

The typed advice note runs to 36 pages, but is incomplete and does not have any author's name or company details.

Last night, Mr McLaughlin said he had been involved in establishing a legitimate trust for his children using income upon which tax had been paid.

Following an interview with Moriarty Tribunal lawyers on Friday, Kyran McLaughlin confirmed, through a spokesman, that a separate controversial proposal to set up a secret Liechtenstein Trust had come from his personal files.

The secret advice on how to evade tax, with the assistance of Swiss middle-men, was published by RTE on Thursday last.

It related to tax planning for the sale of a 29pc stake in Davy to Citicorp back in 1984.

The brokerage, now a subsidiary of Bank of Ireland, stated that it had not proceeded with the tax evasion recommended by its advisers.

The Liechtenstein Trust document, which was among Mr McLaughlin's private papers, is understood to have been made available to the authorities by a family member.

It was also reported that the Revenue Commissioners are investigating the links between some clients of another stockbroking firm, NCB, about ten years ago with Overseas Nominees Ltd, a company operated by Des Traynor and linked to the Ansbacher deposits.

It emerged that a senior Revenue investigator, Stephen Treacy, has secured a court order to force NCB brokers to make available any information it has concerning the operations of Overseas Nominees Ltd.

This was a company through which payments were made to Charles Haughey's Ansbacher account.

NCB is currently owned by Ulster Bank which bought it in 1994 for £25.5m, but the transactions are understood to relate to a period prior to Ulster Bank's ownership.

Investigating lawyers at the Moriarty Tribunal want to study any share dealings or transactions which may have provided a cover for indirect funding of Mr Haughey.

In addition, the High Count inspectors, investigating the connection of about 120 leading personalities and the Ansbacher (Cayman) deposits, will want to explore any of these people's connections with Overseas Nominees Ltd and another company called Mars Nominees Ltd.

Tribunal spotlight moves to brokerages

THE decision by the chief of Davy's brokerage to step aside, while denying any wrongdoing, widens the associations and fall-out of recent scandals with the country's main financial institutions.

The recent Public Account Committee hearings and the Moriarty Tribunal have unfolded widespread tax fraud and sharp practice by the country's top banks and building societies.

Now the spotlight is on some of the stock brokerage subsidiaries of the main banks.

Apart from trading company shares, they are also involved in corporate finance, sourcing new capital for expanding companies.

In his resignation statement yesterday Kyran McLaughlin, and his successor as managing director, Tony Garry, said that Davy & Co had never promoted any tax evasion schemes in the past or present.

The firm had been involved in share irregularities associated with the privatisation of the Irish Sugar, now Greencore, in 1991.

The three High Court investigators into Ansbacher (Cayman) bank are expected to focus on Davy's relations with many of the 120 named individuals linked to the deposits.

The two documents relating to tax evasion by forming trusts in Liechtenstein and Grand Cayman may encourage the Revenue to take a much closer look at some of these family trusts.

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