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 Prior to the Offshore Leaks, the snippets of information available on offshore companies were largely confined to the outdated online registrars kept by tax havens, as an empty gesture towards transparency.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
H & A PAPER TRADING CO. 22-01-1977
CY
H & A ENTERPRISES INC. 05-07-2000
BB
H & B VENOHR HONG KONG LIMITED 27-03-1979
HK
H & C CONSULTANTS 12-10-1989
CY
H & D SNACK BAR 20-12-1991
CY
H & H AQUAFARMS N.V. 14-02-1989
AW
H & H CONSTRUCTION CREATIONS LTD. 06-08-2006
BM
H & H CONSTRUCTION LTD. 26-10-1998
BM
H & H CONSTRUCTION N.V. 18-01-1993
AW
H & H HOLDINGS LIMITED 22-10-1997
BM
H & H HORTICULTURE (CHINA) HOLDINGS CO., LIMITED 12-05-2000
HK
H & H INTERNATIONAL SPORTS MANAGER LTD 17-07-2009
CY
H & H RE-INSURANCE BROKERS LTD. 30-09-1977
BM
H & I CO. LIMITED 09-06-2004
HK
H & J CONSTRUCTION COMPANY LIMITED 09-11-1994
BB
H & K GINET LIMITED 18-02-2008
CY
H & L CONSULTING ENGINEERS COMPANY LIMITED 04-07-1995
HK
H & L HOTEL AND LEISURE PROPERTIES A.V.V. 01-08-2004
AW
H & M EMPIRE OF SOUND 19-09-2001
CY
H & M INVESTMENTS LIMITED 25-12-1943
GI
H & M PAVLIDES LIMITED 10-09-2009
CY
H & M.P. POTOUDES (POULTRY FARMS) 13-04-1972
CY
H & O ONROEREND GOED EXPLOITATIE MAATSCHAPPIJ N.V. 26-08-1990
AW
H & P AGRICULTURAL & CONSTRUCTION MACHINERY LIMITED 30-09-2009
CY
H & R BLOCK INSURANCE CO. LTD. 30-06-1972
BM
H & R SERVICES LIMITED 21-10-1998
BM
H & R VETERINARY PHARMACY LIMITED 27-08-2009
CY
H & S MECHANICAL N.V. 10-04-1990
AW
H & S PLUMBING LTD 15-02-2005
BM
H & TEM CO., LIMITED 12-01-2005
HK
H & Y COLOSSOS LTD 08-09-2010
CY
H & G (WLT) HOLDINGS LIMITED 075663 -SO 16-08-1932
KY
H & M MCDONALDS 076299 -SO 20-06-2002
KY
H & P ENTERPRISES LTD 24-07-1995
KY
H & R HOLDINGS LTD 22-10-1988
KY
H & S (LATIN AMERICA) CORPORATION 077412 -SO 09-11-1977
KY
H & S INTERNATIONAL INC 10-07-1886
KY
H + L ENTERPRISE/LENA'S 01-09-1985
AW
H AND C DEVELOPERS & CONSTRUCTIONS LTD 25-05-2009
CY
H AND H INTERNATIONAL FURNISHING COMPANY LIMITED 073692 -SO 27-02-1951
KY
H CAPITAL LIMITED 21-02-2008
BM
H DE LA CRUZ CONSTRUCTION 01-01-2005
AW
H DE LA CRUZ CONSTRUCTION 29-05-2011
AW
H FIFTY EIGHT A (BERMUDA) LIMITED 26-02-2004
BM
H FIFTY EIGHT B (BERMUDA) LIMITED 26-02-2004
BM
H FIFTY EIGHT B LIMITED 31-03-1997
BM
H FIFTY EIGHT C LIMITED 31-03-1997
BM
H FIFTY EIGHT D LIMITED 31-03-1997
BM
H K S PAPER SUPPLIES LTD 17-01-1991
MU
H OCTANE LIMITED 21-10-1866
VG