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 Prior to the Offshore Leaks, the snippets of information available on offshore companies were largely confined to the outdated online registrars kept by tax havens, as an empty gesture towards transparency.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
P - K INVESTMENT COMPANY LIMITED 17-04-1962
HK
P & A (TURNAROUND FUND) 08-08-2000
CY
P & A METASTORE 13-03-1995
CY
P & A TOOL CENTRE 04-05-1995
CY
P & B LEATHERJEWELS 30-05-1990
CY
P & B MOVIEPLANET LIMITED 10-09-2009
CY
P & C AUTOROLEX LTD 30-07-2009
CY
P & C ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 10-05-2000
HK
P & C INTERNATIONAL N.V. 17-03-1986
AW
P & C ISAAC EGG PRODUCING FARM 21-10-1989
CY
P & C TEX LIMITED 11-06-2004
HK
P & D CONSTRUCTIONS JOINT VENTURE 12-01-2005
CY
P & D Korea Co., Limited 18-05-2006
HK
P & D NICOLAOU PROPERTY INVESTMENTS LTD 16-10-2009
CY
P & E INVESTMENTS LIMITED 08-05-1998
HK
P & F TRADING CORPORATION N.V. 27-06-1983
AW
P & G MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS LIMITED 06-11-1979
HK
P & G POOURKOU LTD 19-05-2010
CY
P & H TRADING COMPANY 08-02-1973
CY
P & H FLY MESSENGER SERVICES 28-05-1997
CY
P & J TOURS AND TRAVEL 30-10-1992
AW
P & J TOWAGE & TUGBOATS LTD 03-11-2010
CY
P & K GROUP LIMITED 19-03-2007
HK
P & K NO LIMIT 31-01-2001
CY
P & M ELECTRICAL SERVICES & SUPPLY LTD. 16-11-1987
BM
P & M ISLAND MESSENGER 25-04-1991
CY
P & N ROYAL FLOOR 27-06-1994
CY
P & O (BERMUDA) LIMITED 13-12-1996
BM
P & O CONTAINERS (INTERNATIONAL) LIMITED 16-08-1966
BM
P & O OIL TRADING LIMITED 17-01-1962
BM
P & O PERSONEEL EN ORGANISATIE CONSULTING 01-01-1994
AW
P & O SERVICES (OPERATIONS) LTD. 29-05-1968
BM
P & O SHIP MANAGEMENT (BERMUDA) LIMITED 11-04-1996
BM
P & P CAMEO JEWELLERY 03-07-1991
CY
P & P HOLDINGS LTD. 03-01-2006
BM
P & P INVESTMENT C.V. 01-01-1998
AW
P & P KYRIAKIDES AND CO. 21-11-1955
CY
P & P PLATEA CAFE RESTAURANT 21-01-2005
CY
P & P TRADING COMPANY LIMITED 09-04-1996
HK
P & R HOLDING CO. 20-01-1989
AW
P & R LTD. 15-08-1994
BM
P & S ALASKA FURS 30-03-1983
CY
P & S CARGO SERVICES 22-08-2004
AW
P & S KYPRIANOU LTD 05-10-2009
CY
P & S PET-PRODUCTS 26-02-2003
CY
P & S PRODUCT MARKETING (HONG KONG) LIMITED 18-12-1970
HK
P & S VIDEO 08-02-1983
CY
P & T GROUP LIMITED 01-04-1968
HK
P & T TAIWAN LIMITED 05-06-1979
HK
P & V CAMEO JEWELLERY 03-07-1991
CY