President's Wife Linked To More Offshore Companies - The Reykjavik Grapevine

President’s Wife Linked To More Offshore Companies

Published May 3, 2016

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Screenshot of CNN

New revelations have linked Dorrit Moussaieff to more offshore companies than was previously thought. President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson has denied any knowledge of his wife’s financial activities.

The Guardian reports that documents stemming from a leak from HSBC’s private bank in Geneva shows that Dorrit has connections to offshore companies and trusts located outside the UK. This is in addition to other connections brought to light by The Grapevine and Kjarninn last week.

Leaked bank files show Iceland’s first lady listed as one of three Moussaieff family members who jointly owned a company in the British Virgin Islands called Jaywick Properties Inc. She was also a beneficiary of the Moussaieff Sharon Trust, according to the files.

In addition, the HSBC files suggest Moussaieff, who is non-domiciled for UK tax purposes, was in line to inherit further portions of her family’s offshore wealth when her 86-year-old mother, Alisa, dies.

The Guardian adds the caveat that this information may be outdated, as this leak only extends from 2005 to 2007. However, Dorrit’s lawyers have refused to comment when asked if she still had ties to “Jaywick, the Moussaieff Sharon Trust, or any other aspect of the family’s offshore holdings”, adding that all her business activities have been legal.

Further, a spokesperson for the President told reporters, “President Grímsson does not have, nor has he at any time had, any information about the financial affairs of his wife or other members of the Moussaieff family.”

As reported, the President told CNN last month that neither he nor members of his family have any connection to offshore accounts.

However, documents The Grapevine received showed this contention to be false. The matter concerns a British company called Moussaieff Jewelers Limited (MJL), which is Dorrit’s family’s business. According to the Directors’ Report and Financial Statements for MJL in 2006, Lasca Finance Limited (LFL) – a company registered in the British Virgin Islands of which Dorrit’s parents are shareholders – was paid interest payments by MJL from at least 2000 until 2005, which was the last time we saw reported interest. Lasca also appears in the widely-reported Panama Papers leak.

In 2006, LFL all but disappears, and a new company appears in Hong Kong: Moussaieff Limited, of which Dorrit’s mother is the sole director and shareholder, and has been active through at least March 31, 2015. While not defined as a tax shelter by Icelandic law, Hong Kong does rank in second place on the Financial Secrecy Index.

Although when Dorrit changed her legal residence from Iceland to the UK in 2013, she told reporters at the time that she ran MJL, an annual report from MJL in 2015 lists her mother as the director.

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