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Countering Terrorist Financing

The practitioner’s point of view

Edited By Mark Pieth, Daniel Thelesklaf and Radha Ivory

Terrorists need money to commit acts of violence and sustain their operations. Measures to combat terrorism therefore aim to prevent terrorists from raising, moving and using funds or other assets. The effectiveness – and the fairness – of these measures were considered at the second ‘Giessbach’ seminar on counter-terrorist financing (CTF) organised by the Basel Institute on Governance in October 2008.
This book contains essays presented at the seminar written by practitioners and academics with extensive experience in the field of CTF. The authors offer a diversity of views on the domestic, regional and international initiatives aimed at detecting terrorist funds in the financial system, preventing terrorists from moving their money via alternative financial channels and facilitating the recovery of terrorist assets. The editors conclude with in-sights into the ongoing challenge of making CTF measures both effective and legally sustainable in the lead-up to Giessbach III in December 2009.

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STEPHEN BAKER - The misuse of offshore structures so as to assist the financing of terrorism 151

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STEPHEN BAKER The misuse of offshore structures so as to assist the financing of terrorism I. Introduction The word ‘offshore’ is not a term of art but means different things to different people. On the broadest definition, almost every country in the world is ‘offshore’ to another jurisdiction. In this sense, the UK is correctly described as offshore to Kenya. In this chapter, however, the term ‘offshore’ is used in a narrower sense to describe financial centres which were traditionally regarded as such. Common character- istics of such centres include low or nil rates of taxation, a perception of a higher degree of client confidentiality and a proportionately higher level of financial services as a component of the economy. These offshore centres include Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxem- bourg, the Cayman Islands, the Crown Dependent Territories, the British West Indies, as well as the emerging centres such as Dubai, Qatar, Singapore and Delaware in the United States (US). There are, of course, many ways in which these offshore centres and their services can be used honestly and honourably. However, all forms of financial services are vulnerable to misuse and the traditional offshore services are no exception. Offshore structures will often be used in economic crime. The purpose of this chapter is to give prac- tical guidance as to the ways in which offshore services can be abused Stephen Baker is an English barrister and Jersey advocate. He is a partner of BakerPlatt, a law firm based in Jersey, Channel Islands, specialising in...

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