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 Prior to the Offshore Leaks, the snippets of information available on offshore companies were largely confined to the outdated online registrars kept by tax havens, as an empty gesture towards transparency.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
O & E TRADING COMPANY, LIMITED 30-10-1967
HK
O & L CORPORATE MANAGEMENT LIMITED 18-07-1980
HK
O & L PUPPIES CARE SERVICES 24-09-2002
CY
O & M GIFT SHOP 09-02-1990
CY
O & M CONSULTANTS LIMITED 26-08-1977
HK
O & R LTD. 21-09-2001
BM
O & R PROPERTIES LIMITED 26-01-2004
BM
O C M LIMITED 13-01-1981
BM
O CONNOR UNDERWRITING AGENCY, LTD 08-06-1979
BM
O G T MARITIME CARRIERS LIMITED 20-09-1977
HK
O K M SHOE EXPORT LIMITED 01-10-1964
HK
O K TOUR LIMITED 25-05-1979
HK
O M B LIMITED 22-12-1982
BB
O MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT LIMITED 26-10-2009
CY
O R SERVICES LIMITED 29-04-2008
BM
O RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE 15-09-2013
AW
O SI DISK LIMITED 05-05-1999
HK
O T C PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS 28-04-1981
DO
O TAΡΑΞΑΚΟΣ ΛΤΔ 04-06-2009
CY
O-K INVESTMENT COMPANY LTD. 19-04-1988
BM
O-NET COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED 04-08-1935
KY
O-ZONE 06-05-2005
AW
O-ZONE 03-07-2005
AW
O-ZONE INVESTMENTS INC. 09-08-2001
BB
O. & K. CONCERTO MUSIC CENTER 04-10-1994
CY
O. ANGELINE VERVOER 14-07-2014
AW
O. B. EXPORTS LIMITED 27-07-1971
HK
O. B. W. LIMITED 13-09-1968
HK
O. EVERON CLEANING SERVICE NV 12-08-1995
AW
O. G. CONSULTANTS LIMITED 09-12-2010
CY
O. J. BONTEKOE 20-05-1951
AW
O. J. JACOBUS 01-04-1948
AW
O. K. RECORDING STUDIO LIMITED 15-05-1979
HK
O. KEES & COMPANY (HONG KONG) LIMITED 27-06-1949
HK
O. S. M. S. LIMITED 05-09-1966
HK
O. T. B. REALTY LIMITED 26-02-1971
HK
O. U. R. INVESTMENT DEVELOPMENT LIMITED 21-09-1979
HK
O. WILMS & CO. (HONG KONG) LIMITED 05-02-1971
HK
O.A SERVICES CONSTRUCTION & CLEANING 19-01-2014
AW
O.B. CAPITAL COMPANY LTD. 06-05-1989
KY
O.B. ENTERPRISES 098459 -SO 27-05-1883
KY
O.B. HOUSING COMPANY INC 131094 -SO 05-04-1881
KY
O.B.C. ARUBA 21-02-2002
AW
O.C. HOLDINGS LTD. 22-09-1992
BM
O.C.A INC 131128 -SO 02-07-1945
KY
O.C.B. MIDDLE EAST LTD. 15-04-1976
BM
O.C.P.D CORPORATE LTD 16-04-2010
CY
O.C.P.D HOLDINGS LTD 29-03-2010
CY
O.C.P.D SERVICES LTD 19-04-2010
CY
O.D. & E. RENTALS 23-09-1998
CY