Illegal fishing and Amazon deforestation operations linked with offshore tax havens

Date: August 23, 2018

Source: The Independent

Author: Josh Gabbatiss

Investigation reveals use of nations like Cayman Islands and Belize by companies and vessels involved in potentially damaging practices.

Industries linked to environmental damage including Amazon rainforest deforestation and illegal fishing are heavily involved in the shady world of offshore tax havens.

An investigation has revealed that huge quantities of money flowing into the Brazilian soy and beef sectors are funnelled through nations where taxation is low and financial transparency is lacking.

The same analysis found most fishing vessels implicated in illegal or unregulated activities were registered in tax havens.

 The release of the Paradise Papers and Panama Papers has shown how businesses, politicians and global elites make use of offshore tax havens to undertake financial dealings in secret and pay minimal tax.

However, the potential environmental impacts of these activities have been largely ignored.

The authors of the new study, published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, suggested that tax havens were likely to support many forms of environmental damage around the world, from illegal logging to the wildlife trade.

“Using tax havens reduces financial transparency in general, and if you don’t have transparency there is also lack of accountability,” Dr Victor Galaz from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, who led the investigation, told The Independent.

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