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The ongoing financial chaos in Cyprus underscores the exotic world of offshore accounts and holding companies, tax havens, and the risk of money laundering. The mere presence of an offshore account or shell company is a red flag when conducting due diligence on prospective intermediaries, or even when performing an internal risk assessment.

Antibribery cases are replete with examples of payments to third parties’ offshore accounts or third parties obscuring their ownership through offshore holding companies. Several of these cases even involve Cyprus:

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