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A dossier on the Tvind Teachers Group. Are Humana People-to-People, Planet Aid, the Gaia Movement and DAPP siphoning off cash through tax havens? Is it a cult?

Fact File: the tax havens used by the Teachers Group

Fact File: the tax havens used by the Teachers Group

This is a list of the major tax havens* we believe to be used by the Teachers Group in 2015. 

The group’s key offshore holding companies and financial trusts appear to be registered and still active in Jersey, the Isle of Man, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, with others possible in the Cayman Islands and elsewhere.

Some were identified by Danish police in their 2001 investigation, but others (especially in Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Mauritius) have been registered as recently as 2013.

*Major territories designated as tax havens by the Tax Justice Network’s Financial Secrecy Index, 2013.  (The Teachers Group is also commercially active in many other FSI-designated territories, including for example Brazil, India and Estonia.)

 


Current Teachers Group tax havens:

Jersey

Two secret trusts and at least five major offshore holding companies

Isle of Man

Four known currently active offshore holding companies

Switzerland

Four offshore entities connected with Humana, Planet Aid and Gaia

Liechtenstein

Three known Humana offshore companies, probably involved in the used clothing trade

Cayman Islands

Unknown number of active companies: current information difficult of access

Cyprus

An investment company is a shareholder in the European used clothes trade

Hong Kong

Eight known companies concerned with trade, furniture and drop-in boxes

Mauritius

An offshore company owns banana plantations in Africa

Delaware (USA)

At least five companies, dealing with used clothes, property and schools

London (United Kingdom)

Important companies connected to agribusiness and African art sales

British Virgin Islands

A holding company for USAgain may be active

The Netherlands

Various Humana companies and foundations

Belize

Holding and commercial companies connected to agribusiness

 


Teachers Group offshore companies

This is a listing of the most important offshore companies we have identified

 

Jersey

The Farmers Trust and the Hobbhouse Trust (Jersey)

Anonymous trusts, about which it is impossible to find any information at all.

The Hobbhouse Company Limited (Jersey)

Teachers Group offshore ‘money box’.  

Fairbank, Cooper & Lyle Ltd. (FC&L) (Jersey, 1991, restructured 2000)

Important catch-all offshore holding company which owns, through subsidiaries, most of the TG landholdings, many school buildings, and several used-clothes recycling enterprises.

Argyll Smith & Company (Jersey, 1989)

FC&L subsidiary that owns the DRH colleges. AS Properties in Delaware (1997) is an FCL subsidiary company that owns the US colleges

Atlantic Farming Ltd and Bahia Farming Brazil Ltd (Jersey, 1990-91)

Agribusiness

 

Isle of Man

McCorry and Co (Isle of Man, 1995)

Timber trade.

Trayton Holdings Ltd (Isle of Man, 1995)

Holding company for furniture manufacture in China

 

Switzerland

(all registered between 1999 and 2013) 

The Humana Federation (Association)

Humana People-to-People (Foundation)

Humana and Planet Aid Finance (Societe Anonyme)

Gaia Movement Trust (Association)

 

Liechtenstein

Humana People-to-People Asia Establishment (2009)

Humana People-to-People Europe Establishment (2009)

Humana People-to-People Asia Eastern trust (2006)

 

Cayman Islands

Likely company names include Caribbean Farming, Tropical Farming, Tropical Produce Trading and Agricorp.  No information available.

 

United Kingdom

Mount Lezard Estate Limited (UK, 1990)

Agribusiness in the Caribbean, but a company with many important names on the board

Friends Forever (International) Ltd (UK, 2004)

Importing African sculpture from Zimbabwe

World Art Promotion (UK, 2008)

Unknown

 

Delaware 

Garson & Shaw Inc (Delaware, USA, 1999)

Used clothes trade (international broker)

The Gaia Movement Trust

Gaia clothes collections

TS Recycling

Holding company for used clothes trade

USAgain (four companies)

Commercial used clothes collections

AS Properties

School properties in the USA

McCorry (three companies)

Timber and furniture

 


Offshore shell companies 1983-1995, now dissolved

Between 1983 and the 1990s the Teachers Group additionally registered more than 50 offshore companies in Guernsey, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar and Hong Kong.

According to Danish police and other sources, these companies were to transfer money for property purchases in Brazil and the United States, and for hidden transactions in the charitable and commercial used clothing trade.  Many of these companies have since closed.

In addition to the most famous tax havens, the following countries where the Teachers Group has a commercial or charitable presence have all been designated as ‘offshore financial centres’ by the International Monetary Fund, the Tax Justice Network or the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development:

Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Botswana, India, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Guatemala, India, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain and Sweden.

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7 months ago

Tvind Alert

FROM THE ARCHIVES: In August 2008 the BBC aired an investigation uncovering serious concerns about the College for International Cooperation and Development (CICD), a Tvind-run 'Travelling Folk High School' that's still active in East Yorkshire, England. The BBC story includes interviews with two of the dozen students who had walked out, all of them claiming they were being exploited.

Said one ex-student:

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