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 Prior to the Offshore Leaks, the snippets of information available on offshore companies were largely confined to the outdated online registrars kept by tax havens, as an empty gesture towards transparency.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
L true 30-10-2003
AW
L & L (LOUCAS & LOUCAS) 29-04-1976
CY
L ESSENCE DE VIE LTD 18-01-2010
CY
L & A AGENCY LIMITED 23-02-2006
CY
L & A MOTORS AGENCY 08-06-2006
CY
L & AR SPARE CO. 04-05-1981
CY
L & B ADMINISTRATIEKANTOOR 19-10-2013
AW
L & C (LABOR & CAREER) EXECUTIVE MANPOWER SERVICES 30-04-2010
AW
L & C COMPANY LIMITED 07-11-1963
HK
L & C KRUYTHOFF APARTMENTS 01-01-1989
AW
L & C MARINE TRANSPORT LTD 28-04-1972
BM
L & D DEVELOPMENT LIMITED 06-08-1980
HK
L & D INVESTMENTS LIMITED 12-07-1976
BM
L & F CONSTRUCTION & DECORATION (SHANGHAI) COMPANY LIMITED 17-05-2006
HK
L & F HOLDINGS LIMITED 25-06-1998
BM
L & G COMMERCIAL LIMITED 24-09-1971
BM
L & H BUSINESS CONSULTANTS LIMITED 12-11-1996
HK
L & H INVESTMENT LIMITED 06-06-1997
BM
L & I CERAMICS CO., LIMITED 21-08-2002
HK
L & J CONSTRUCTION 28-02-1992
AW
L & J CONSTRUCTION 18-09-1996
AW
L & JOHN (HOLDING) LIMITED 17-04-1979
HK
L & K METAL LIMITED 12-06-1979
HK
L & K OLYMPIAN GYM 23-06-1982
CY
L & L MUSICIANS 27-03-1990
CY
L & L BIJOUTERIA 05-08-2004
CY
L & L SYMEOU LTD 05-02-2010
CY
L & L VENTURE PARTNERS LTD. 06-12-2004
VG
L & M ALPHA TELECOM 23-10-1995
CY
L & M BETTING LIMITED 13-05-2010
CY
L & M CAR GARAGE LIMITED 08-07-2010
CY
L & M CO., LIMITED 16-03-2007
HK
L & M COMPANY LIMITED 25-08-1967
HK
L & M CONTAINER CLEANING SERVICE 03-08-2015
AW
L & M ESTATES AGENTS 05-12-1983
CY
L & M MANAGEMENT LTD. 14-01-2004
BM
L & M MANAGEMENT LTD. 14-01-2004
BM
L & N Architects Limited 29-06-1995
HK
L & P DEVELOPMENT LIMITED 04-03-2014
HK
L & P INTERNATIONAL LIMITED 22-05-1979
BM
L & R COMPANY LIMITED 21-08-2002
HK
L & R'S INVESTMENTS INC 29-09-2000
BB
L & S COMPANY LIMITED 07-03-1969
HK
L & S CONSTRUCTION CO. LTD. 20-09-2000
BM
L & S SERVICES LTD 22-05-2009
CY
L & T ARCHITECTURAL COMPANY LIMITED 19-08-2002
HK
L & T COMPUTER SYSTEMS LIMITED 11-04-1996
HK
L & T INSURANCE LTD. 17-12-2003
BM
L & T LTD. 04-01-1986
BM
L & TH FAIR LIMITED 05-08-2010
CY