Author

Henk Willem Smits

articles
5
2022

C-Corp: the one-stop-shop for Putin’s friends in tax haven the Netherlands

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Henk Willem Smits & Hugo Rasch

Henk Willem Smits & Hugo Rasch

The Amsterdam-based trust office C-Corp is small and little-known, but serves the crème de la crème of the Russian business world. Among them are several billionaires, and Rostec, manufacturer of the BUK missile that shot down MH17. In the Netherlands, Rostec was involved in a joint venture with American company General Electric, according to research by Follow the Money.

Villas, aeroplanes and yachts: 80 journalists hunting for the assets of Putin’s pals

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Dimitri Tokmetzis, Henk Willem Smits & Nikki Brands

Dimitri Tokmetzis, Henk Willem Smits & Nikki Brands

In collaboration with colleagues from all over Europe, Follow the Money is launching the Russian Asset Tracker. The Tracker will provide a running overview of real estate, aircraft, yachts and offshore accounts of sanctioned and/or corrupt oligarchs. The search has only just started, but we have already identified 153 assets with a combined value of 16 billion euros that are wholly or partly owned by oligarchs and close relations of Putin.

These are the Russians that the Netherlands can squeeze [updated 15 March]

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Henk Willem Smits, Hugo Rasch & Remy Koens

Henk Willem Smits, Hugo Rasch & Remy Koens

The Netherlands has traditionally been important for Russian companies and oligarchs. Even today, hundreds of Russian (letterbox) companies are registered in the Netherlands. Now that the European Union has announced sanctions against Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine, Follow the Money has mapped out how and where the Netherlands can hit Putin in his wallet. [Updated: 1 March.]

2021

DiscoLeaks: How ABBA, Julio Iglesias, two Beatles, and dozens of other stars used the Netherlands to avoid paying taxes

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Henk Willem Smits & Remy Koens

Henk Willem Smits & Remy Koens

It is no secret that U2, The Rolling Stones, and AC/DC have kept their music rights in the Netherlands. But does this also apply to other artists who sold millions of records? Yes, it does! From crooner Julio Iglesias and synthpop band Eurythmics to opera singer Placido Domingo, singer Vaya Con Dios, and Taiwanese pop star Teresa Teng: they all used the Netherlands and Curaçao to evade tax, according to research by Follow the Money.

Pfizer avoids taxes via the Netherlands and makes a profit worth billions

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Henk Willem Smits

Henk Willem Smits

Pfizer earns billions from Covid vaccines purchased by governments. The vaccines have been developed in part thanks to research by universities, and are purchased with taxpayers’ money. But Pfizer prefers to pay as little tax as possible. The company successfully avoids tax authorities via the Netherlands.