North Atlantic to South Pacific via Panama

This is going to be about how the North Atlantic Trust Company, based in Gibraltar, owns the South Pacific Auckland Trust Company, based in Auckland; and how both feature in the Panama Papers database. But this finding was due to random chance with the database. The Offshore Leaks database has a few favoured searches for the data, and I happened to click on one, which was a Latin-style name. I got a few thousand entities as a result, but filtered it by country, i.e. New Zealand, and came up with the Moulton Trust. Or, more precisely:


Well, I’m not exactly sure that this is linked to the Moulton Trust Company in New Zealand, which was first registered in 2006. But all of its 10 shares are owned by Michel Barbey of Switzerland, and a little Google search finds that he is a principal in the firm Borel & Barbey, and they certainly feature in the Panama Papers database. Moreover, a director that has been added, Charles Anthony Bottaro, is also involved in the North Atlantic Trust Company based in Gibraltar. And the North Atlantic Trust Co, and a few variations on the name appear many times in the Panama Papers, with some very complex connections. There is the North Atlantic Trust Company as trustee of the Haiqu Trust, as well as a lot of other trusts based in the British Virgin Islands or Panama. There is the South Pacific Auckland Trust Company as trustee of the Haiqu Trust, and it also appears as trustee of the Camder Trust twice. These are then linked to Burgundy Investments Management Ltd, and Cassandra Global Ltd; while the Haiqu Trust is linked to Stamford Bridge Holdings Ltd (maybe they are Chelsea fans).

So how are the North Atlantic and South Pacific Auckland trust companies linked? Well, the Moulton Trust is administered by a partnership based in Auckland, Patterson Hopkins of Parnell; and Robyn Hopkins is also a director of South Pacific Auckland Trust Company, which was first registered in 2002 as South Pacific Investment Trust Ltd. Now, South Pacific Auckland Trust is owned by the North Atlantic Trust Ltd in Gibraltar, though for a brief time the shareholding was taken over by the South Pacific Company Pte Ltd, which was based in Singapore. Besides Hopkins, and her partner William Patterson, the other director of South Pacific Auckland Trust is Louis Pierre Boissier, of Geneva, who took over from Luc Hafner in 2013. Hafner appears in the Panama Papers database as an officer of North Atlantic Services Ltd, which is also based in Gibraltar, along with Arthur Bruce Donn. And Donn was listed as a director in Belleshore Trust Ltd, a company that was also administered by Patterson Hopkins in Auckland, along with Rustom Bejon Kanga of Geneva. Belleshore was removed from the company register in 2015, but at the time was owned by Rothschild Trust Cayman Ltd, based in Georgetown. But prior to that Belleshore Trust Ltd had been owned by the Bellufer Foundation, apparently based in Liechtenstein.

Interestingly, there are some other links between Patterson Hopkins of Auckland, and Swiss residents, who are also connected to Singapore trust firms. The key person here is a Jonathan Andrew Melville Cave, a New Zealand lawyer living in Geneva. He does appear in the ICIJ Offshore Leaks database, but not in the Panama Papers section, but with regard to the earlier Portcullis Trustnet data leak. He is listed as being associated with a firm called Crochet & Crochet of Geneva, but also has extensive links to Singapore. This may explain why Cave was a director of Narval Trust Company Ltd, on the New Zealand register, and why he was replaced by Catherine Therese Crochet. So, firstly, Narval Trust NZ is owned by Narval Holdings Pte Ltd, which has a registered office in Singapore. Meanwhile, Crochet & Crochet has a mention in the Panama Papers, but mostly in the earlier database, where Catherine Crochet is specifically mentioned. She appears to run a firm in Geneva called Apricus Finance. Ms Crochet is also the shareholder in the New Zealand registered Mozart Trust Company, along with Robyn Hopkins; and is also linked by Narval to a couple of very new companies, including Osteonal Ltd, where Jonathan Cave is the foreign director.

Now back to the North Atlantic Trust Company, which owns another company administered in Auckland, called Palos Trust Company Ltd. The listed shareholder is the South Pacific Auckland Trust Company, with Patterson and Hopkins as directors, along with a Paul Kaufman. His address is listed as being in Melbourne, Australia, and his company is called BBMP Nominees Pty Ltd. But there is another directorship listed for Kaufman, where he is one of a number of American shareholders for Thunder River Farms Ltd, and his address is a postal box in Petersburg, West Virginia (USA). Just some more evidence of issues of disclosure for New Zealand companies, and trusts that they shield.


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