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Parliamentary questions
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30 April 2021
E-002356/2021
Question for written answer  E-002356/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Monika Beňová (S&D), Miroslav Číž (S&D)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Corruption scandal in the British Virgin Islands and updating the EU blacklist of tax havens

The former governor of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Gus Jasper announced in a Facebook post that the BVI is probably experiencing structural corruption and alleged that the territory’s criminal justice system is not independent and that organised crime is on the rise. To highlight the magnitude of this issue, a BBC report from 18 January 2021 stated that a local police officer was found with almost GBP 200-million worth of cocaine in the territory.

According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), more than half of the shell companies exposed in the Panama Papers investigation were registered in the BVI. More recently, as part of the FinCEN Files investigation, the ICIJ reported that BVI companies have appeared in one in every five suspicious activity reports filed by banks with concerns about possible money laundering.

In a resolution adopted in January 2021, Parliament recalled the urgent need to update the EU list of tax havens. This comprises a blacklist of just 12 jurisdictions and a greylist of nine. Interestingly, the BVI is not on either list.

1. Is the Commission aware of how many EU companies are domiciled in the BVI?

2. Is it satisfied with the transparency and credibility of the BVI authorities when it comes to tax regulation?

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