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 Prior to the Offshore Leaks, the snippets of information available on offshore companies were largely confined to the outdated online registrars kept by tax havens, as an empty gesture towards transparency.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
S true 06-10-1970
AW
S true 01-10-2005
AW
S & A GARAGE 21-01-1997
CY
S & A GLYKIS LIMITED 28-05-2010
CY
S & A INDUSTRIES ARUBA 15-03-2014
AW
S & A IRRIGATION SUPPLIES INC. 27-01-1994
BB
S & A KALLITECHNIS PAINTERS 18-07-2005
CY
S & A KANNIDES PROPERTIES LIMITED 11-10-2010
CY
S & A POWER LAND CONSTRUCTION LTD & P. ASSIAS IDEAL CONSTRUCTION LTD JOINT VENTURE 19-01-2009
CY
S & A.Y EVANGELOU (PERIPTERO) LTD 15-11-2010
CY
S & B EMPRESA, CXA. 15-07-1986
DO
S & B ENGINEERS AND CONSTRUCTORS LTD. 01-03-2001
AW
S & B INDUSTRIAL COMPANY LIMITED 05-05-1999
HK
S & B POUND WORLD 08-06-2005
CY
S & B POUNT WORLD 08-06-2005
CY
S & B THE EURO SHOP LTD 17-12-2009
CY
S & C GLOBAL TRANSLATIONS 27-11-1998
CY
S & D TRADING COMPANY LIMITED 08-08-2001
HK
S & E ENTERPRISES 16-07-2011
AW
S & F COSMETICS CO. 23-02-1982
CY
S & F DOWCO 17-05-1992
AW
S & G DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED 16-05-1985
BM
S & G IOANNOU CONSTRUCTORS LTD 22-12-2009
CY
S & H HOLDINGS LIMITED 18-02-1998
BM
S & H MOTORIST DISCOUNT COMPANY 18-03-1969
CY
S & H SAVVA LTD 31-03-2010
CY
S & I LIAKOS LTD 23-12-2009
CY
S & I VRONTI FRESH COOL WATER LIMITED 15-03-2010
CY
S & J BRANDED FROZEN FOODS LIMITED 05-08-2009
CY
S & J CELEBRATION CARDS 17-03-2005
CY
S & J GEM'S STONES INTERNATIONAL 14-09-1999
AW
S & K BEAUTY LTD 20-05-2009
CY
S & K Food Co., Limited 16-06-2015
HK
S & K PUMP TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED 31-08-2010
CY
S & L ARTOZACHAROPLASTIA LTD 14-10-2009
CY
S & L CONTRACTOR 01-04-1992
AW
S & L ENTERPRISES 21-09-1993
AW
S & L PAINTING CONTRACTOR 08-08-1992
AW
S & L PAINTING CONTRACTOR N.V. 08-08-1992
AW
S & M MIKRO BUSINESS COMPUTERS 16-03-1981
CY
S & M GYRO HOME TAKE AWAY 19-12-1995
CY
S & M INFINITY TRADING LTD 11-09-2009
CY
S & M KOUNNAS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT LTD 11-05-2010
CY
S & M PAINT 24-03-2003
CY
S & N ENTERTAINMENT LTD. 09-08-2009
BM
S & N NICOLAIDES LIMITED 24-03-2010
CY
S & N SAVVA LIMITED 05-08-2010
CY
S & O Investments Limited 19-04-2010
HK
S & P CONSULTING LIMITED 22-12-2009
CY
S & P DIMITRIOU INTERNET CONSULTING 04-12-2006
CY