What you can buy in the Cook Islands

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So, this nice building can serve as our landmark in down town Rarotonga, Cook Islands. If you go about a block further, on the right is a very nice small computer shop. In the block before this building, there’s a nice but expensive ice cream place that has great coconut soft serve, a store that sells what could be fake black pearls, and the main depot for the clockwise and anticlockwise buses.

Oh, and in this building you can hide your millions of dollars of assets from your country’s tax man.

I had no idea that this occurred in the Cook Islands. I did not hear a word about the offshore banking sector.

My Cook Islands have been big news in Canada. As you’re likely aware, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has exposed tax cheats from all over the world. Their website has an extensive set of posts on their work – very much worth a read.

It’s also been interesting that a Saskatchewan lawyer, Tony Merchant, has featured prominently in world wide coverage. Merchant made a lot of money by initiating class action suites on behalf of First Nations survivors of residential schools. So it looks like both Indians and whites got screwed (as they say in theĀ vernacular).

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