How a Canadian businessman-turned-convict set up a secret offshore company as investigators closed in

How a Canadian businessman-turned-convict set up a secret offshore company as investigators closed in

How a Canadian businessman-turned-convict set up a secret offshore company as investigators closed in

One of Canada’s most wanted criminals has quietly set up a safe in Panama.

Andrew Will runs the Global Strategic Research Group (GSRG), one of the country’s most secretive corporations and one of its biggest exporters of stocks and shares.

Now that more than a decade-long investigation by the Canadian authorities has been closed, some of his activities have been made public.

Andrew Will has quietly set up a safe in Panama Photograph: Canadian police

These include a stock-trading company with a secretive company in the Netherlands that shares staff.

GSRG has offices in Canada, the United States, South Korea, China, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong.

In 2007, Canadian law enforcement teamed up with US authorities to shut the company down and Will was sentenced to six years in jail in 2010.

But GSRG won a tax-haven battle in Canada’s supreme court in March 2017 and is now legal.

The company is now worth more than $320m (£255m), according to financial disclosures.

The shares Will holds in the company as it entered into a new corporate structure with the Netherlands were valued last week at $23.8m, giving Will a paper loss of $2.1m.

Watchdog SwissLeaks also details that he owns a five-bedroom house in Red Deer, Alberta, more than $1m in property in Florida and Texas, and four more homes in Alberta, both to make use of the $16m in assets he has revealed to be frozen in offshore accounts.

Also last week, a digital privacy group asked Panama’s supreme court to annul the law that allows registered companies to conduct offshore business without revealing where the goods, services or partners are located.

The group said the law constitutes double taxation and breach of privacy.

The Canadian government is not investigating Will, according to an official statement.

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