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"A properly created and operated Cook Islands Trust have withstood the test of time, even defeating attacks by the US authorities trying to pierce the trust's veil and grabbing the beneficiaries' assets. One can't do better than that can they?"
Dr. Charles Freeman Interview August 2018 - Part II
We are extremely privileged to have been able to interview Dr. Charles Freeman recently. This interview, we believe, is extraordinary in the sense that the good doctor lays it all out in plain English what and how our personal and financial privacy is intentionally being eroded in today's less than friendly privacy world.
More important, the doctor maps out clear, concise and easy plans with great
Offshore guru and second passport expert Dr. Charles Freeman is the author of numerous newsletters and reports, namely the former Freedom, Wealth & Privacy Reports, and his bestselling "How to Legally Obtain a 2nd Passport."
Dr. Freeman's "What It Was Was Freedom" report, circa 2012 - http://www.ptshamrock.com/whatitwas.html is probably the most downloaded privacy report at our web site. It's a staggering 53 pages of alarming and still relevant must-read information in today's world and is certainly in the best of Freeman's vernacular of special reports.
The following interview took place over several days, at a lovely beach resort, one of many the good doctor frequents.
We trust you'll find this interview contains new, interesting and discerning information with antidotes to help one sort today's privacy concerns.
PT Shamrock - August 2018
DCF = Dr. Charles Freeman
PTS - Doctor, thank you for a lovely dinner last night. It was one of the better meals we've had in a good while.
Now back to business. What about the financial or banking side today? What's going on in that sector.
DCF - You're welcome PT.
Opening an offshore bank account today is not a stress or hassle-free experience. The overwhelming demands for documents, and compliance requirements are rapidity approaching the ridiculous. Demands for bank reference letters, solicitor (attorney) references, CV's as well as personal appearances at the banks prior to account opening is standard bank account operating procedure today. In the rare instance where one can open an account remotely, i.e. without a personal appearance at the bank, the bank will normally require, at a minimum, a Skype online interview where one will be required to hold up their passport, the same one initially submitted for account opening, and asked numerous and sometimes very uncomfortable questions. This is of course, in addition to all of the other "normal"
Today bank account openings at nearly 99% of the world's offshore jurisdictions have dramatically tighten account opening procedures and compliance requirements due to FATCA and other arcane alphabet agencies reporting laws for US nationals and residents as well as most other nationalities within the European Union and elsewhere. These regulations affect millions of non-Americans who have become unwilling participants in America's draconian war on taxing their citizens to death… worldwide.
Worse most offshore banks simply decline to accept Americans as clients, although they in some cases they will accept applications from Americans but drag the account opening process along for many months until a rejection advice is finally given to the exasperated American applicant!
Depositing and carrying any amount of cash, say a thousand dollars or more on your person, in your automobile or whilst flying, subjects US residents and visitors to having their money confiscated and sequestered and likely never being able to retrieve their funds. And this without one being charged with a crime. I'm sure your readers have read numerous horror stories about hard working people being stopped during a routine traffic stop or whilst traveling, then having their hard and honestly earned cash literally stolen from them, thanks to local, state and federal financial confiscation laws. Those laws, which allows the stealing party, the authorities, to keep one's funds with little or no resource from the victim!
PTS - Yes, I've known and written about that subject for some years now.
DCF - For those resident within the United States of America as well as American nationals around the world, opening an offshore bank account has become nearly impossible, thanks mainly to FATCA and its many alphabet reporting agencies like OCED, Automatic Exchange of Information, CRS and the Signatories Of The Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) amongst others and their harsh compliance requirements placed on offshore banks wishing to deal in US dollars via correspondent banks.
In the rare instance where an offshore bank will accept Americans for account opening purposes, they'll be required to sign a form authorizing the bank to report to the US tax authorities the existence of your offshore bank account for the bank to cover their backsides and KYC (know your client) compliance requirements with the American FATCA and other reporting laws and compliance requirements from the United States as well as the European Union.
It gets worse. As if all the above was bad enough, in the event you're married and one of the spouses' is an American and the other a non-American, watch out! The bank will likely ask you this trick question during the account opening process (or will do so soon.) In the event one of the spouses is an American, even if the American spouse is NOT the one to open the account nor is to be a party to the account, once again the bank will decline to open an account for you regardless of nationality.
Further if you're an American with dual nationality and intend using your second (non-American) passport to open a bank account, here again you'll likely get turned down. Why? Because the second non-US passport will show you as being born in the US. Therefore, you are still considered an American for legal purposes. Unless you can produce a certificate from the US government showing you have renounced your US citizenship, you are going to be out of luck, and once again not be accepted for offshore bank account opening purposes!
Failure to comply with banks' requirements, and failure for Americans to report their offshore bank account on various forms and compliance reports to their tax authorities, can and does result in severe fines and or imprisonment. This has been witnessed recently via the Swiss and Panama private banking revelations regarding Americans having hidden accounts in Swiss and Panama company bank accounts with the severe fines and penalties placed on the Swiss and Panamanian banks by the American authorities, not to mention the draconian penalties and in many cases imprisonment, for the American undisclosed offshore account holders.
PTS - Does this include debit cards for Americans and others?
DCF - I'm afraid it does. Standalone MasterCard and certainly Visa cards are, in most cases, being issued strictly to non-US nationals residing within the European Union. In other words, if you are an Asian, US or other non-EU national living anywhere outside the EU, you'll likely be denied any debit card, at least issued by MasterCard or Visa.
There area s few rare exceptions. In Asia, one can obtain a Union Pay debit card. Although its not the best debit card, it serves it purpose as its available to most nationals, including US citizens.
I also have access to a MasterCard from a standalone source in Central America. Naturally if you open a personal or company bank account offshore, debit cards are mostly included in such offerings. But the noose is tightening that's for sure.
Banking compliance requirements have literally become absolutely ridiculous today. Some banks, and counting, require full details, including passport copy, utility bill, bank statements for the past 6 months, for the remitter of a bank wire sent to your account. I'm not kidding. Your read that right. The bank, already asking all those requirements plus many more from you for opening an account for you, is demanding those documents before they will allow a bank wire into your account.
What remitter of a bank wire to such an account, is going to put up with this idiotic and intrusive requirements in order to remit a bank wire payment to you? It's becoming insane. In the meantime, the real crooks, the terrocract's, are still laundering tens of millions of dollars into their secret well-hidden offshore accounts without recourse. It's the same Ole, same old, "Do as we say, not as we do" banking business as usual.
PTS - Where are the best, if any, banks accounts for one to open offshore, especially if they're an American?
DCF - The top banking jurisdictions have certainly changed over the past years. As we all realize, formerly Switzerland and Liechtenstein topped the list. This, however, is no longer the case.
Hong Kong use to be very good but trying to open a bank account in Hong Kong today is nearly impossible and very time consuming with ever greater demands for papers and documents.
In point of fact Macao banking is superior to Hong Kong banking due to the fact that the banks in Macao gladly accept Americans and other nationalities as clients; does NOT require a personal appearance by the client, no banking references are required and unlike Hong Kong banks, Macao banks are far less likely to kowtow to offshore reporting authorities due to being a SAR (Special Administration Region) of China, and as of this writing are not reporting American client to their respected tax authorities. How long that will last is your guess as well as mine. However, if anyone, especially Americans are looking for a truly first-class AAA rated banking service, Macao would be very hard indeed to beat these days.
The Macao setup is as follows; A Hong Kong Company (in your chosen name or an aged Hong Kong company) is used for the director and shareholder an act like nominees to create a Macao company (in your chosen name) and open the Macao company bank account. Set up time is fairly fast considering what's on offer. Opening an account in Macao is simply a straight forward process and nifty if I say so myself.
Opening in accounts in Panama no longer is feasible. The process is simply too long, too complicated and at the end of the day most applicants are turned down regardless of their nationality.
The same can be said of accounts opening within the EU. A waste of time IMO, with everything you do being reported to all authorities everywhere!
Other areas within Central America, not Panama, can offer bank account openings, even without having to provide ID of any sort.
The Caribbean offers the possibly of account openings but can be very time consuming with demands for lots of paper and documents all of which adds up to taking lots of time just to open an account. It took one of my clients nine months to open an account in Belize. At the end of the day his account was opened but after much stress and aggravation if I say so myself.
Singapore is another excellent banking options. One can open an account there using a tax free non-annual filing company from jurisdictions such as The Seychelles, The Marshall Islands, Belize, Nevis and many other tax free non annual filing jurisdictions. That said, like with Macau, a visit to the bank in Singapore is mandatory.
In the late 1980's and spurred on by the high unemployment and other financial woes that followed the departure of the British, the Maltese Government set about creating an offshore sector and becoming more welcoming to external investment by passing the International Business Activities Act 1988 under which the Malta International Business Authority was set up to develop offshore business sectors.
Alongside this initiative, the Malta Development Corporation began to offer a range of very attractive investment incentives. Initially the accent was mostly on employment creation in manufacturing and shipping rather than the development of a financial services centre; but this has gradually changed, and there is now a modern legislative structure for most of the main financial sector activities.
Malta acceptance into the EU in 2004, was very good news indeed for international investors. Malta's financial services sector has continued to expand, attracting considerable interest from international sources for personal and company bank accounts.
In case of the shareholder is legal entity a recent extract of company register would be necessary.
The bank's requirements are fairly liberal:
A non-annual filing Seychelles Company and Latvian bank account with internet banking and an ATM/Debit card can be had at a very reasonable cost and is hard to beat account opening wise these days.13 | P a g e
Mauritius offers decent banking offering debit cards and online banking via banking codes. I just happen to have access to a bank source there where one can open a tax-free Seychelles non-annual filing company and a Mauritius company bank account, without any personal appearance, without any bank reference letters or even a Skype interview. A very rare opportunity if I say so myself.
PTS - Which bank might that be may I ask?
DCF - That my friend is for my consulting clients only!
Laughs from PTS and DCF.
PTS - What other banking tips can you offer our readers?
DCF - Well PT, the age-old adage, "One can never have too many banks accounts" certainly holds true to this day. I've had many bank accounts over the years in all the major jurisdictions. Many of those accounts were closed due to banking policies that changed and for who knows what other concerns the banks had.
So, depending on ones needs and requirements, having two, three or even more bank accounts in various jurisdictions would be a prudent step to make.
There is also what is called a pass-through account. A pass-through account is a bank account where X amount of funds are received and credited one day, then a few days later 90% to 95% of the amount of funds received are remitted outbound to another bank account, in another company or personal name and jurisdiction.
PTS - What three banking jurisdictions do you recommend and why?
DCF - Without question Macau, Mauritius and Singapore in that order. Why? All accept Americans and most other nationalities for account opening purposes. Macau, from my personal experience, offers the best banking with the least questions (none for me) asked and demands for invoices and other nonsense for incoming or outgoing wires.
I also highly recommend Mauritius because of the ease of opening an account without a personal visit, bank reference letters and Skype interviews.
Last but certainly not least is Singapore. Singapore banking is as near to the best banking that one can obtain these days. However as with all things in life, nothing is forever and recently Singapore banking, like other banks worldwide, have tighten up their KYC compliance requirements making opening an account a bit more difficult to open than previously possible just a few months ago.
One way to ease the account opening process is to use a trusted source in Singapore to be the nominee director and shareholder of your company. The nominee of the company walks into the Singapore bank to open the Singapore bank account in lieu of your personal appearance.
In addition, there is no requirement for a bank reference, again a big plus whilst opening bank accounts these days.
Arguably this setup could be the best offshore structure & bank account on-line!
PTS - Why?
DCF - Singapore is a World Class Location with world renown banking privacy. This first-class setup is both professional and relatively easy to open. Singapore banks offer truly hassle-free internet bank accounts!
PTS - Which jurisdictions do you recommend for company creation and why?
DCF - I recommend creating a company y where you do not have to file annual returns of one sort or another like many jurisdictions require. There are no annual filings or reporting required with a Marshall Islands, BVI (British Virgin Islands,) Nevis or Seychelles Company with these fantastic banking opportunities.
I in particular like the Marshall Islands because the company owners name is well protected from anyone to view or discover publicly without a Marshall Islands issued court order, which is not an easy matter to obtain.
PTS - What about reporting from those jurisdictions?
DCF - I'm sorry to say my friend but reporting to one's tax authorities is a part of today's banking for all nationalities.
That said there is an Africa Island Account, where the bank is an excellent pass-through bank and known for being flexible with its customers as to wires in and out, setting up the accounts, etc. They don't ask for invoices and such nonsense and the account is setup very fast indeed. This bank doesn't report any of their account holders to any authority and this includes their American account customers too. Required is
* A scanned notarized copy of your valid passport emailed to us
A personal or company account (subject to you're having company papers in order) can be opened for very little money. A non-annual filing offshore company in your chosen name can be obtained at a nominal additional cost. A stand-alone classic debit card, valid for 3 years without ANY load limits, can also be secured at a nominal additional cost.
The above stated, I wouldn't keep much money in the African pass-through account, as banking in Africa can be unstable at times.
PTS - What if one wishes to legally avoid the reporting of their account to their tax and or other authorities, what can they do?
DCF - In this event an offshore bullet proof trust would need to be created and operated via a trustee for the benefit of the beneficiaries as instructed at the time the trust is created.
PTS - Any particular jurisdiction you can recommend for such a purpose?
DCF - There is only one, IMO, for such a task. A properly created and operated Cook Islands Trust have withstood the test of time, even defeating attacks by the US authorities trying to pierce the trust's veil and grabbing the beneficiaries' assets. One can't do better than that can they?
PTS - They certainly can't.
PTS - On a personal note, how active are you business wise these days? Are you still accepting consulting and passport clients?
DCF - Well PT, I'm not a young whipper snapper any longer as I'm well into my seventies now. Although I'm not retired and never intend to be, I have, however, cut back on taking on new clients, albeit I do accept new clients, if they're interesting and have challenging needs and requirements.
PTS - For instance?
DCF - For instance, if one has or are is going through an ugly divorce and requires ass and asset protect or a second passport. This occurs many times when the alphabet agencies are taking a strong interest in a client or potential client.
PTS - Now here's the 64,000-dollar question; what can one do/should do to protect their personal and financial privacy? How does one accomplish this in today's privacy intrusive world?
DCF - This is a very individual matter. I normally ask potential consulting clients to receive the best service and get the most out of our consultation, before our conference they should prepare a full written statement of their background, approximate net worth, goals, objectives and ambitions, plus [IMPORTANT!] a statement that they are seeking information from me for your own personal use (not for publication) and are neither a journalist, government employee, nor an agent for any undisclosed person.
PTS - What kind of advice can you provide?
DCF - Well here goes;
Naturally each person is an individual and requires specifically tailored products and services to suit their requirements. This is, I believe, is where I can best assist such individuals.
PTS - Boy you certainly laid it on the table doctor.
I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks for your time and candor in this incredibly interesting interview. Its certainly one of the better ones we conducted over the years.
Finally, doctor, may we offer your consulting services to PT Shamrock's readers?
DCF - Thank you PT. Yes, please do so, subject to your readers emailing their full written statement of their background for my review and acceptance.
About Dr. Freeman:
London -born Charles Freeman is the bestselling author of "HOW TO LEGALLY OBTAIN A SECOND PASSPORT." He spent much of his twenties backpacking his way around the world seeking adventure. By age 29 he had been employed in over 40 jobs including factory work, English language teacher, night club bouncer salesman, perfume dealer writer and running his own picture framing business. Starting in 1991, and with minimal capital, he began dealing in property and within just 6 years had built up a multi-million-pound property empire. He is now a self-made millionaire with homes in Spain, South America and Thailand.
He has recently retired from the property business and is currently travelling the world looking for new projects. As the former author and editor of THE FREEDOM, WEALTH AND PRIVACY REPORT a newsletter for millionaires - both current and prospective, Dr. Freeman enjoys helping others achieve wealth and freedom. To receive details of Dr. Freeman' consultation services, email him c/o of the publisher at email@example.com and place "Charles Freeman" in your subject heading.
Copyright PT Shamrock Limited, 2018 ©
To read Part I CLICK HERE.
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