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 Prior to the Offshore Leaks, the snippets of information available on offshore companies were largely confined to the outdated online registrars kept by tax havens, as an empty gesture towards transparency.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
U & D INTERNATIONAL LIMITED 12-11-1996
HK
U & G COMPANY LIMITED 12-11-1996
HK
U & M PRESTIGE MOTORS LTD. 02-03-1990
BB
U & V MANUFACTURING COMPANY LIMITED 09-05-1980
HK
U A B (BERMUDA) LTD. 22-08-1980
BM
U BLOCK ENTERPRISES 05-06-2012
AW
U BOATWORX ARUBA 30-10-2009
AW
U FAIR ELECTRONICS COMPANY LIMITED 12-03-1971
HK
U IN IT PERSONALIZED VIDEO CLIPS & SCREEN SAVERS 01-01-2002
AW
U KWONG INDUSTRIAL COMPANY, LIMITED 25-08-1967
HK
U PRINT ! 11-03-2014
AW
U RENT TRAILERS 02-03-2013
AW
U S M LIMITED 09-01-1967
BM
U S SUMMIT CORP (OVERSEAS) LTD 21-12-1978
BM
U SMART CO., LIMITED 16-06-2015
HK
U-CENTRAL FUNDING CORP. 12-11-1958
KY
U-CHAMPION SPORTING WORKSHOP LIMITED 14-01-2005
HK
U-CONVENIENCE STORE 13-06-2001
AW
U-FREIGHT HOLDINGS LIMITED 28-01-1987
BM
U-HAUL 03-10-1989
AW
U-HOME GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED 19-06-2002
BM
U-INTEND CORPORATION N.V. 17-05-2003
AW
U-K COMPANY, LIMITED 05-08-1960
HK
U-LAM INVESTMENT COMPANY, LIMITED 06-04-1963
HK
U-LIKE INTL.CO., LIMITED 11-04-2011
HK
U-Long (HongKong) Trading Limited 14-01-2014
HK
U-MANI COMPANY LIMITED 11-09-1979
HK
U-MENG COMPANY LIMITED 18-01-1966
HK
U-NIFY MOBILITY SOLUTIONS (CY) LIMITED 16-10-2009
CY
U-OCEAN LIMITED 11-07-1980
HK
U-RIGHT INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS LIMITED 06-09-2000
BM
U-SAVE TRADING 27-06-2000
AW
U-WAI INVESTMENT COMPANY LIMITED 13-07-1979
HK
U-WANNA-BEER 15-02-1995
AW
U-WIN COMPANY LIMITED 19-10-1979
HK
U. A. HADI INTERNATIONAL LIMITED 09-09-1969
HK
U. D. C. (HONG KONG) COMPANY, LIMITED 17-06-1969
HK
U. POWER SERVICES LTD 26-06-2009
CY
U. S. ETHICALS, INC. 14-05-1962
DO
U. S. FOODS & BEVERAGES, LIMITED 10-08-1979
HK
U. S. PROPERTY INVESTMENTS (NO. 1) LIMITED 25-03-1980
BM
U. SPALINGER AND COMPANY, LIMITED 03-05-1947
HK
U.B. INTERNATIONAL A.V.V. 01-02-1993
AW
U.B.A.L. UNIVERSAL BUSINESS ANALYTICS LTD 28-05-2009
CY
U.B.C BLIND CLEANER 26-01-1995
CY
U.B.V. MIDLAND DISTILLERS LIMITED 16-11-2000
CY
U.C.S. LIMITED 19-10-1911
GI
U.C.S. UNIQUE CORPORATE SOLUTIONS 02-11-2008
AW
U.C.S. UNITED CARD SERVICES LIMITED 12-03-2010
CY
U.D. AVIATION SERVICES LTD. 06-12-1992
BM