A Norfolk solution to offshore investments
Richard Barr encourages the world's 1 per cent to hide their fortunes in the East of England where it will be protected from investigative journalists by a short-sighted farmer and some messy swine
Those poor unfortunate people who are enormously wealthy must be in despair following the revelations about the activities surrounding Mossack Fonseca.
What can they do now with their billions? Where can they invest them to ensure that some mean minded government does not try to levy a little tax?
It is a tragedy for them and most of us will be concerned to help those global leaders and other billionaires who first had the ordeal of placing their assets in sun-drenched islands and now have the world cruelly suggest that what they have done is somehow morally wrong.
Fear not, for I am happy to report that once again Norfolk comes to the rescue. Few of you will know that the good people of Norfolk have been secretly planning Nexit.
Tired of interference from central government, being told our sugar beet must be perfectly symmetrical, and that our Brussels sprouts must be as round as billiard balls, plans are afoot to declare independence not only from Europe but also from the rest of the country on 24 June.
A final decision has yet to be made on whether to cut a wide channel around the west of the county, leading from the Wash to the wilds of Suffolk, thereby turning Norfolk into an island that can, with the help of a few powerful tugboats be towed into the middle of the North sea; or to build a very large wall on the dividing lines with Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.
That later may sound impractical but we know a man who is up to the job. When the good people of the United States eventluall come to their senses and realise that Donald Trump is not have the stuff of whom presidents are made, he will be out of a job. However, his plans for a great Mexican wall will become very handy for us. We might even ask him to build our wall, so long as he doesn't upset the natives, and assuming the rest of the UK pays for it.
Once we have severed our connections with the rest of you, Norfolk's plan is to create a tax haven that will be entirely immune from hackers, investigative journalists, and other unpleasant people.
I am not at liberty to reveal all, but what I can say, is that the enterprising Greater Snoreing Law Society will set up a co-operative law firm, completely safe from cyber crime, and called Where There's Muck (WTM)].. To ensure no interference from outside sources, WTM will have no computers and no access to the internet. Records will be written in invisible ink and the Solicitors Regulation Authority will not know the firm even exists.
Premises have already been acquired in the outer reaches of Greater Snoreing. The first thing that would be hackers (and other nasty people) will have to realise is that to get to the offices they will need to acquire heavy duty Welllington boots so that they can make their way through the sea of mud (and other less pleasant substances) created by the pigs.
Yes the offices will be in the centre of a pig farm. Not just pigs, though, there will also be a flock of several hundred geese to alert the armed guards of intruders. 'Armed guards' might be a little exaggeration, but a local farmer has agreed to take his shot gun out from time to time to keep the local rabbit population in check. However, he is a little short sighted and might possibly mistake a stray investigative journalist for vermin.
So, how will we make the arrangement secure for our clients? We have already acquired several heavy treasure chests, some from the wrecks of ships that have foundered on the Norfolk coast. These will be filled with the
illicit - sorry, entirely legitimately acquired - funds from our clients, then buried under the mud (deep enough so that they are not uprooted by curious pigs). Our clients will then be given a choice: either precise map co-ordinates or a set of clues to add to the excitement of locating their treasure troves in future years.
This will be a community effort. Already 98 per cent of the population of Greater Snoreing have signed up to become under-the-mattress partners. For those who cannot afford our platinum service (those whose fortunes are measured in mere millions), will have their assets distributed to our partners and placed under mattresses in their homes. Many locals already keep their money in this way, and so it will be no great hardship to store extra currency, especially as each local person, as part of their contract, be entitled to retain enough notes each year to fill the pockets of one pair of dungarees.
Dirty money will also be dealt with in the same way. Our loyal partners will be happy to use their washing machines to launder any currency of dubious origins. For an extra fee they will wash the money with the babies' nappies, thus ensuring that no one else will want to touch it.
So come on Messrs Putin, Mubarak, and Assad. Bring your dirty money to Norfolk. It will be safe with WTM. Trust us. We are lawyers.
Richard Barr is a consultant at Scott-Moncrieff & Associates @scottmoncrieff