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 Prior to the Offshore Leaks, the snippets of information available on offshore companies were largely confined to the outdated online registrars kept by tax havens, as an empty gesture towards transparency.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
W & C (HK) COMPANY LIMITED 03-03-2014
HK
W & F RUIZ BROTHERS N.V. 23-01-1988
AW
W & F RUIZ HOLDING N.V. 23-01-1988
AW
W & G HAYES & CO. 31-03-1976
CY
W & J ADAMS ENTERPRISES INC. 22-05-1990
BB
W & L CONSTRUCTION 29-06-1996
AW
W & MF ENTERPRISE LIMITED 08-08-1980
HK
W & N CALIBRA CONSULTANCY NV 23-02-1995
AW
W & S TRADING INTERNATIONAL LTD. 12-02-2010
BM
W & W LIMITED 08-05-1998
HK
W B M INVESTMENT LIMITED 25-07-1980
HK
W BOND FUND LIMITED 30-06-1959
VG
W CORPORATION LIMITED 22-03-2005
BM
W CREATE 22-11-2015
AW
W EQUITY FUND LIMITED 16-09-1906
VG
W FRAY CONSTRUCTION LTD. 09-06-2005
BM
W H & L LTD. 26-06-2006
BM
W HORIZON FUND LIMITED 13-05-1921
VG
W IMPORT & EXPORT 01-08-1999
AW
W INVESTMENTS HOLDINGS LIMITED 20-10-2010
CY
W J REDDIN SEMINARS LTD 02-04-1981
BM
W KALEIDOSCOPE FUND LIMITED 13-04-1908
VG
W KALEIDOSCOPE FUND LIMITED 26-02-1904
VG
W M MINING INTERNATIONAL LTD. 02-11-1997
BM
W OPPORTUNITY FUND LIMITED 20-09-1929
VG
W S H SHOEPARTS LIMITED 21-09-1979
HK
W SHIPPING LTD 15-04-2010
CY
W T L Cable Machinery Co. Limited 15-03-2007
HK
W T L LIMITED 05-01-1966
HK
W T MANAGEMENT COMPANY LIMITED 13-08-1984
BM
W TANKERS LIMITED 17-11-2011
BM
W TRADING DEREGISTERED LIMITED 04-03-1890
VG
W-F GYULA LTD 04-08-2009
CY
W-LIN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT CO., LIMITED 12-10-1993
HK
W-MANAGEMENT ADVISORY SERVICES (WMS) 21-01-2008
AW
W-ONE (ARUBA) N.V. 15-07-1986
AW
W-ONE PENSIOEN B.V. 13-06-1993
AW
W-TAX & LEGAL SERVICES 06-08-2006
AW
W. A. HANNIBAL & CO., LIMITED 06-12-1935
HK
W. A. RICHARSON 28-03-1973
AW
W. BROWN (MM) LIMITED 13-04-1962
HK
W. CAROLLE INSURANCE ADVISORY LIMITED 15-06-1979
HK
W. CHARLESON & COMPANY, LIMITED 13-08-1920
HK
W. CLAIRE ENERGY CORPORATION (CYPRUS) LIMITED 14-10-2009
CY
W. E. R. JOELL COMPANY LIMITED 24-10-1980
BM
W. F. BOLLMEYER & COMPANY (H.K.) LIMITED 09-02-1962
HK
W. F. WHEELER AND COMPANY, LIMITED 28-02-1969
HK
W. GAMBY & COMPANY (ASIA) LIMITED 24-05-1965
HK
W. H. LEUNG & SONS CORPORATION LIMITED 03-03-1970
HK
W. HAKING & COMPANY, LIMITED 20-02-1947
HK