Offshore A-Z is a digital repository of companies operating across major tax havens. Offshore A-Z exploits the inscrutability of such companies to speculate on their possible nature and intent. Each company listed on here is real, but the information surrounding these consist of both actual records, obtained by the Demystification Committee, and speculative images and mission statements, generated by algorithms.

Tax havens, or secrecy jurisdictions, employ laws and corporate regulations different from those of most jurisdictions, using secrecy as a prime tool. Furthermore, the agents operating offshore on behalf of clients elsewhere have been observed by the Demystification Committee to willfully introduce mistakes in the records held on the companies they help forming. (Offshore Investigation Vehicle, p. 87)

When offshore companies are but a bundle of papers held in private storages, these practices contribute to a number of possible configurations of any given offshore company, whose records are at once factually correct and conveniently flawed.

Offshore A-Z plays with the idea that truth is not one nor static, and that it does not need to be upheld equally at all times or in all fora.

Obtaining the data

The data contained within Offshore A-Z comes from a number of sources. Prior to the Offshore Leaks, the snippets of information available on offshore companies were largely confined to the outdated online registrars kept by tax havens, as an empty gesture towards transparency. Employing data scraping techniques, the Demystification Committee extracted records on hundreds of thousands of companies appearing in a number of such registrars.

Yielding varying amounts of information, and naturally full of gaps - sometimes full company details and descriptions, sometimes little more than a name - the records were cross referenced with data from the ICIJ’s Offshore Leaks as well as Financial Secrecy Index scores from the Tax Justice Network, and compiled into a single searchable database.

Training the algorithms

Algorithms were then trained to fill in the gaps in information. Using keywords from the company’s records as a trigger, the algorithms associate images with each nondescript company and complete missing fields by guessing possible incorporation dates or by generating corporate mission statement via a simple neural network. The coherency and accuracy of the neural network is directly undermined by the opaque source material, or incomplete input records. Finally, companies previously named in the Offshore Leaks ( for example) are hyperlinked to the relevant entry on the ICIJ database, allowing user to investigate further.

Compiling the template

The resulting information is autonomously built into a Web 2.0 page, employing a visual grammar similar to that used by existing registrars of companies. However, under intense scrutiny, the template mealts away revealing warm hues and floating forms.

This cycle of actions is repeated for each unreleased company found in the database and publicly announced by a Twitter bot.

Zooming in

Among the companies listed on the Offshore A-Z, a few appearing to be embedded in complex offshore vehicles were further investigated, resulting in three stories focusing on the funding behind Leave.EU, the corporate tax-avoidance of Barclays and the colonial origins of HSBC.

Offshore A-Z is a project by the Demystification Committee.

Company Name Leaked Registered Country
007 INVESTMENT LIMITED 04-11-1977
HK
007 RESTAURANT AND BAR, LIMITED 25-10-1968
HK
01ster Solution Limited 04-03-2014
HK
03 INCORPORATED 15-02-2001
KY
042707 (BERMUDA) LTD. 27-04-2007
BM
051 TAKE AWAY 01-01-1993
AW
1 25-10-1982
BB
1 22-07-1983
BB
1 CYBERNETWORK FLEET LTD. 27-09-2000
BM
1 CYBERNETWORK OPERATIONS LTD. 18-05-2000
BM
1 CYBERNETWORK SENIOR FINANCING LTD. 18-05-2000
BM
1 CYBERNETWORK SUBORDINATED FINANCING LTD. 18-05-2000
BM
1 PLUS 1 GLOTON SNACK 01-09-2015
AW
1 WB SERVICES LTD 04-02-2010
CY
1-2-3 WHOLESALE & RETAIL CENTER N.V. 04-07-1993
AW
1-STOP CORNER 15-04-2006
AW
1.2.3. PERFECT CONSTRUCTION 20-03-2000
AW
1/2 STEP DOWN PRODUCTIONS 01-01-2008
AW
10 LIMITED 02-04-1996
HK
100 % SNACK TROLLY 19-09-2010
AW
100 KG STUDIO LIMITED 16-10-2009
CY
1001 ITEM STORE (ONE THOUSAND AND ONE ITEM STORE) 01-06-2006
AW
101 BEAUTY SALON 01-10-2001
AW
1010 PRINTING GROUP LIMITED 03-09-2011
BM
10747 LIMITED 09-11-1958
KY
1098 LIMITED 30-07-1982
KY
110 CORPORATION 21-01-1981
KY
1127 CAPITAL OFFSHORE FUND, LTD. 21-03-1936
VG
1127 CAPITAL, LTD. 08-12-1911
VG
118 TELEVISION SHOW 01-08-2003
AW
119479 19-12-2010
KY
119587 29-04-2015
KY
123 SOLUTIONS 01-06-2008
AW
123 SOLUTIONS LIMITED 11-11-1977
KY
123 SUSTAINABLE SERVICES 09-01-2014
AW
123 THEORIE RIJSCHOOL 04-09-2006
AW
1238 LIMITED 11-09-2007
HK
13 TALLER 18-04-1979
DO
138 ENTERPRISES LIMITED 02-10-1979
HK
14-BIS 04-10-2010
AW
14/68 ENTERTAINMENT LTD 05-09-2007
BM
141 LIMITED 30-03-1979
HK
1410/1441 BROADWAY FINANCE, LTD. 30-01-1990
BM
1410/1441 BROADWAY FINANCE, LTD. 30-01-1990
BM
16.50 FRESHJET LTD. 05-07-2013
BM
1609 VIP.EXEC LTD 24-09-2012
BM
167 EAST 64TH STREET COMPANY 17-11-1962
KY
17 CALL INCORPORATED 13-06-1881
KY
1700 INSURANCE COMPANY LTD. 26-09-1986
BM
1729 MANAGEMENT (CAYMAN) LIMITED 23-12-1872
KY