Q: What is the The Teachers Group?
A: A cult-like movement that claims to carry out ‘humanitarian work’, but is in fact a profitable commercial and property empire of benefit to an elite group. ‘Humanitarian enterprises’ and commerce are owned and managed side-by-side through covert offshore tax havens, with evidence of systematic money laundering. Five of the most senior leaders of the Teachers Group are Interpol fugitives wanted in their native Denmark in connection with a multimillion-dollar tax-fraud and embezzlement scheme. It is run from a luxurious headquarters near Ensenada, on Mexico’s Baja coast.
Q: What charities does it run?
A: The Teachers Group (TG) runs around ten different charities internationally. Several are used clothes collection organisations ‘in aid of the Developing World’, and there are also volunteering courses, HIV/AIDS programmes, an African sculpture business, and schools. The best-known names are Planet Aid, Humana People-to-People, USAgain, the Gaia Movement, DAPP and Tvind. All these are run through tax havens and make significant profits.
Q: And what commercial businesses?
A: Food, timber, used clothes, shops, furniture and trading. It owns huge banana and fruit plantations in the Caribbean, Central America, Africa and the South Pacific, most bought with money from charitable donations, and run anonymously through tax havens. The commercial trade in foodstuffs, timber and furniture today generate enormous profits. Its used clothes, shoe recycling, volunteering and educational schemes are also run as profitable businesses, with profits accruing to the same offshore network.
Q: Where are the offshore tax havens?
A: In Jersey, the Isle of Man, Grand Cayman, Belize, Delaware, Switzerland, Cyprus and elsewhere. We know the names of the ten key interlocking offshore companies, and have a list of dozens more — around 150 different brass plate, shell or front companies and trusts around the world. These companies are used, often with nominee directors, to run both ‘charities’ and global businesses.
Q: What’s wrong with this business model?
A: The TG often represents itself as a progressive humanitarian movement and its charities as devoted to Third World development. But its finances are opaque and it is far from transparent. It fails to mention that it keeps much — perhaps most — of the money it raises within the organisation; in other words, for itself and the elite who run it.
Q: How does it do that?
A: It pays itself for goods and services. It creates subsidiary and shell companies to extract cash from its charities. It uses transfer mispricing and other money laundering techniques in the used clothes trade. It exploits ‘volunteers’ to pay rent and college fees into offshore accounts. It keeps the salaries that should be paid to ‘development workers’ for itself. It generates suspicious loans between different parts of the organisation. It never distributes charity proceeds outside the group. It has been caught cheating, creating absolutely fake charities, double invoicing, and false accounting.
Q: Where’s the evidence?
A: In FBI and Danish police reports, statements by informants and whistle-blowers, personal testimonies, well-researched newspaper and magazine articles and books, an academic dissertation, company records and various financial statements.
Q: Has the Teachers Group ever been investigated?
A: Yes. Police in Denmark are pursuing an active criminal fraud case against the TG’s five top leaders. In Britain, the Charity Commission acted to close down TG-run ‘Humana UK’ and two fee-paying schools due to “concerns about financial controls and administration,” and “serious concerns about the safety and welfare of children.“ An investigation in France led to the closure of Humana there, and in the Netherlands police became involved after the collapse of a used clothes company. In Russia, the FSB launched an investigation into a TG-owned timber company.
Q: So, why isn’t anyone stopping them?
A: Well, we’re doing our best. The Danish courts are at work. But outside Scandinavia, these charities are allowed to carry on operating — and even given government support. Why? Because officials and investigators fail to see the bigger picture and always accept the statement at face value: ‘We have nothing to do with the Tvind Teachers Group.’ Because investigators are not doing their jobs. Because charities and funding bodies fail to carry out due diligence or check their facts. Because police forces, law enforcement officials and governments around the world do not talk to each other. Because it is easier to dismiss good information on the Internet and write it off as ‘rumour and gossip’ rather than to check the facts.
Q: What are your main findings?
The Teachers Group:
- is a far left political movement or cult
- has a covert agenda to make money for itself
- directs large profits through offshore tax havens and Swiss bank accounts
- is operated by a group of Interpol fugitives who are hiding out in Mexico, and who are wanted in Denmark for serious financial crimes
- uses money laundering techniques to move charity donations into commercial business
- has already spent millions of dollars buying private businesses, farms, land and luxury properties
- is known to have frequently used fraudulent bookkeeping and false invoices
- sends young volunteer applicants out to beg on the streets
- exploits idealistic youngsters, well-wishers and Africans; some to the point of becoming virtual ‘slave labour’
- is currently the subject of a major prosecution for fraud and tax evasion in Denmark
Our research suggests the ‘humanitarian movement’ is a sham and the organisation is in reality a covert political movement and cult with an agenda to make money for itself.