Offshore islands and tax havens

According to Channel 2 news in Iceland, Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson, Björgólfur Guðmundsson, Karl Wernersson og Magnús Þorsteinsson transferred millions from Björgólfur Thor’s investment bank Straumur to various offshore islands (tax havens) the same day as the announcement the Glitnir would be nationalised. Massive transfers started and two weeks after it started close to one hundred accounts where started in the Caymans, Tortola, Cyprus, Hong Kong, The British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and Luxembourg.

An interesting fact that many of those places are run or have been run by the British government. Also during this period money was taken from the banks and put into accounts owned by both Samson affiliated companies, owned by Björgólfur Thor and Björgólfur Sr, and Milestone, owned by the Wernerson brothers.

More individuals and and companies took part in this; “take your money and run” exercise. All transfers where in Euros and USD, and each transfer was from hundreds of thousands to millions in those currencies.

Around 70 million Euros was transferred to “safety”, or around 12.5 billion ISK. Bjögólfur Thor and Björgólfur Sr asked to get a loan written off. See the incredible story here; The amount is around 3 billion ISK. People are outraged, and the rumor has it that the loan has already been written off, but the public has not been told so. Rumor only.

Magnús Þorsteinsson, their Samson business partner was declared bankrupt on May 4th 2009. As reported on this site before, he is believed to be working full time for the Russian mafia.  A few days before he was sentenced by the district court he moved all his belongings, and his money to Russia, and has not been seen since.

The Wernerson brothers and their companies are under investigation from the special prosecutor, see here and here, suspected many serious criminal activities, such as embezzlement, fraud, tax evasion, and various other issues.

Again, this is not new or surprising, but a confirmation that the banks and especially their owners knew what they where doing, when they asked people to put money into the banks, when they were in fact doomed. The captain was the first one to leave this ship in this case.


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