THE HAGUE – A parliamentary committee of the House of Representatives will launch a series of interrogations to some the bosses of some trust companies and other stakeholders in the tax evasion case next week.
This also includes the Curaçaoan Gregory Elias, known as the man who took Rolling Stones to Cuba, and the Dutch manager of the same band, Jan Favie.
Such a ‘parliamentary interrogation committee’ is, after a parliamentary questions, the most serious investigation tool in the Dutch Parliament. The direct reason for this interrogation is the unveiling of the Panama Papers. But considering the witnesses who have to report, the emphasis will be on the domestic tax evasion industry, which has made the Netherlands the largest tax paradise in the world.
Witnesses are heard under oath and are obligated to cooperate. In addition, a number of experts are heard, especially employees of the Tax Administration, but also some journalists, scientists, activists, the staff of the Nederlandsche Bank (Dutch Central Bank) and the Public Prosecutor. Those experts also have to come and stand under oath, Member of Parliament for the PvdA party and chairman of the committee Henk Nijboer’s Quote. “The investigation assignment is to find out how to park assets abroad, who are involved and what the role of the Trust sector is in all this.”
The important day is Day 3, Friday, June 9th. That’s when Gregory Elias has to report in The Hague. Elias is the co-founder of Intertrust, a listed trust office, and after launching it, established a new trust company, United Trust, with offices in Willemstad and Amsterdam. Trust companies manage mailbox companies for large corporations and wealthy private individuals. Trust offices ensure that the so-called ‘substance’ requirements are met. Simply put, it seems as if a mailbox company is a real business.
These trust offices play an important role in tax haven the Netherlands. Among other things, they are the reason why the Netherlands and the Dutch Caribbean are so popular with individuals and companies trying to evade tax authorities. Elias is, therefore, a big one in this industry. His customer base differs from Marcel Boekhoorn to Buck Groenhof. Recently, he made a huge stunt by getting the Rolling Stones to Cuba. Curaçao is one of the only two countries with a tax treaty with Cuba. Foreign and Cuban investors now know where they need to be if they want to invest in the formerly isolated nation. The Dutch manager of U2 and Rollings Stones, Jan Favie has also been summoned as a witness.
Some spectacle may be expected from some other trust bosses and employees of specialized law firms. For example, Bartjan Zoetmulder of Loyens & Loeff is also called on to appear on Monday, June 12th. ‘LoLo’ a law firm that helps wealthy people avoid taxation. After that, a director of Vistra, a trustworthy trust office with clients like Formula 1, and a few very vague real estate companies will follow. Also, an Intertrust Director, as well as one of Citco, the largest trust office in the world.