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 Prior to the Offshore Leaks, the snippets of information available on offshore companies were largely confined to the outdated online registrars kept by tax havens, as an empty gesture towards transparency.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
M .G .M. LTD 122143 -SO 20-02-1952
KY
M & A ART AND FRAMES 18-10-1993
CY
M & A INTERNATIONAL LIMITED 11-12-2009
CY
M & A KYNIGOS OUTDOORS LTD 11-06-2009
CY
M & A MAN'S FASHION 03-08-1973
CY
M & A MI CHIAMO 20-10-2004
CY
M & A PET-CARE LIMITED 27-07-2009
CY
M & B CONSTRUCTION LTD 13-11-1997
MU
M & B MONEY MANAGEMENT COMPANY LTD. 20-06-1979
BM
M & C INVESTMENTS INC. 17-05-2000
BB
M & D ACCOUNTING & TAX CONSULTANCY 22-10-1995
AW
M & D SYKOPETRA LEISURE LTD 10-03-2010
CY
M & E ΠΕΡΙΠΤΕΡΟ ΤΙΤΑΝΙΚΟΣ 16-09-2009
CY
M & F CHARALAMBOUS LTD 21-10-2009
CY
M & F TRANSPORT INC. 25-02-1997
BB
M & G AUTO BODY REPAIR LIMITED 28-12-2009
CY
M & G FAMILY KIOSK LTD 18-03-2010
CY
M & G HOLDINGS LTD. 09-09-1981
BM
M & G JUST OVER 13-05-2003
CY
M & G PRO-STYLE 18-01-1993
AW
M & H BAKERY LTD 11-03-2010
CY
M & H NAILS 29-07-2009
CY
M & H WEB PROMOTIONS 27-04-1999
CY
M & I LIMITED 07-06-1966
HK
M & J ABRAHAM HOLDING N.V. 14-05-1990
AW
M & J ALERT SECURITY SERVICES LTD 23-09-2009
CY
M & J LEATHERWARE INDUSTRIAL CO., LIMITED 15-01-2014
HK
M & J LOGISTICS LIMITED 18-10-2010
CY
M & K MOTOR AGENCY 24-06-1971
CY
M & K (PYLA) TAVERN & FISH RESTAURANT 16-06-1992
CY
M & K DIGITAL DIMENSION 13-09-2004
CY
M & K DIMIOURGIES TEXTILES COLLECTION 31-10-2000
CY
M & K INVESTMENTS LIMITED 08-12-1976
BM
M & L ARADEMOUS ENTERPRISES LTD 12-02-2010
CY
M & L EXTINGUISHER SERVICES INC. 02-12-1991
BB
M & L HOLDINGS (HONG KONG) LIMITED 27-08-1963
HK
M & L MOTORS COMPANY LIMITED 14-09-2005
HK
M & M CONSTRUCTION LTD. 07-06-2000
BM
M & M COSTLESS CASH & CARRY LIMITED 24-07-2009
CY
M & M EXCAVATION LTD. 13-10-2004
BM
M & M INTERLIGHT 21-07-1980
CY
M & M INTERNATIONAL LTD 06-10-1982
BM
M & M INVESTMENTS CONSULTANTS N.V. 21-01-1988
AW
M & M MUSIC CENTRE LIMITED 17-07-1991
BB
M & M POOLS LTD. 11-10-2008
BM
M & M VAN A TOT Z 05-03-1994
AW
M & M... ONE CALL 09-08-1999
AW
M & N CYPRUS EXPRESS COURIER SERVICES LIMITED 23-02-2010
CY
M & N INTERNATIONAL COMPANY LIMITED 20-06-1997
HK
M & N TEACHER AND SCHOOL SUPPLY 01-05-2003
AW