Ladies and Gentlemen,
Singapore's state controlled newspaper The Straits Times of Feb 10, 2012 has the story "Singapore banks seek exemption from US compliance rules". It says "DBS (a Singapore bank) chief executive Piyush Gupta said that if banks had to go through with all the compliance activities in the United States, the costs could be quite prohibitive"
It refers to the US demand that under the "US Foreign Account Compliance Act (FATCA)which will require Singapore financial institutions to look for and report American Account holders or face 30% withholding tax on American investments from 2013".
Gupta further says "Some of the provisions are clearly to my mind extra judicial and extra territorial and they wind up with a huge cost impact on international financial institutions".
Prior to this, the US had gone against Switzerland, in particular it's UBS Bank forcing them to reveal American account holders who have not paid US taxes or face prosecution. UBS gave in, and made a deal with the US Revenue Service which resulted in some prosecutions. Since Switzerland has come clean, it seems some of these Americans have moved their dirty money to Singapore who are now facing the same consequences as the Swiss.
It appears from this newspaper article that Singapore is trying to avoid the same fate of the Swiss by arguing firstly that what US is doing is unlawful because it is "extra jurisdictional" and "extra territorial". Secondly they are arguing that it is is "too costly" to comply.
I am not sure what went on in the head of this man Piyush Gupta, but let me assure him that the Americans are not as stupid as he thinks. Let me tell him that there is nothing "extra jurisdictional" or "extra territorial" for any nation to go against tax avoiders anywhere they are. They are simply criminals which entitles the USA to go after them even if they were on the Moon. Second, the issue of costs has never been a consideration when it comes to apprehending criminals, and the USA is not going to allow this Lee Kuan Yew minion to get away with it, costs or no costs.
Personally I have always believed that trying to survive on vice is not a very reliable living, which Singapore does. It relies on gambling (2 casinos), legalized prostitution in Singapore's Geylang District, money laundering and tax evasion as it's principle sources of income. It appears now, at least the days of it's illegal activities of money laundering and tax evasion are coming to an end. The Americans are at their heels.
Attorney at Law
Disbarred from practicing law in Lee's Singapore, imprisoned and refused entry to the island for criticizing Singapore's judiciary in this blog (see blogpost May 29, 2008 Singapore. Judge Belinda Ang's Kangaroo Court)
Actively practicing law in California and in good standing at the California Bar.
Member in good standing as a lawyer in England and Wales (Barrister).
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