It may have been possible in the days of swashbuckling pirates for the individual with a few extra bucks to hide his stash in a chest in the ground beneath a secret palm tree and be reasonably sure that his money was sagely hidden from other pirates like tax collectors, ex-spouses, blackmailing mistresses, suing lawyers and others whose life ambition is to make the rich poor and themselves rich. In today's world with Switzerland down-grading its secrecy laws and making numbered accounts history and more and more tax havens being infiltrated by foreign governments and their tax departments snoopers, a man's (or woman's) hard earned money is no longer his personal business. Every government's tax-robber-barons want to know all the details so that they can extort in many cases more than 50% of your assets into their tax coffers. Everybody today from tax authorities to lawyers has his proverbial nose up your financial ass." They work with the belief that they can extort gross amounts of your hard earned money because they have the power to make the rules. And after all, the golden rule states that those who have the gold, rule.
Authorities today look upon anyone who deals in cash, rather than "paper" - checks, money orders and electronic transfers, etc., as a tax evader straight and simple. Walk into most any bank today with a suitcase full of cash and immediately you are presumed a drug dealer, pimp or tax evader. Even trying to set up a bank account with a relatively small amount of cash can be a tricky situation. Cash, because it leaves no paper trail is looked upon the in the banking industry with the same scorn as a virgin at an orgy as is trying to open an account without producing high-powered ID, supplying an address for the record and filling in a detailed questionnaire of employer, marital status, etc.
You can get around some "local" regulations by opening an account by mail in almost any tax haven in the world without an ID. Sound peachy-cream in that you can use any name you want but you still usually have to furnish an address. This requirement isn't a problem to most "worldly, PT type individuals for they will usually set up a series of "resident" addresses or confidential mailing addresses through mail drops spread throughout the world. Still the risk of detection by some tax collecting vermin, judicial or government authority having records of your account down the line is more than slight unless you are very clever. How you ask, do they find you? INTERFIPOL!
Most people have heard of Interpol, the international police agency supported by many governments, but few have heard of Interfipol, "the International Fiscal Police." This organization is quietly starting to come into its own. If you happen to have, or someday create, a tax problem in any OECD country, you can rest assured that you and your money will be hunted prey. It may take some time, but your money will be taken out of circulation.
Even keeping your money is a variety of European, Asian and/or offshore banks (forget American banks for the IRS and others can "freeze" or impound your account faster than a vindictive spouse can spend it" doesn't preclude the fact that you still show up on the bank's computers as a "foreign account". With today's almost total lack of true banking secrecy, banking authorities can be persuaded to do a little computer search and give the records to snoops from other countries who are under the laughable impression that the account holder would like to "donate" some of this money to help the tax coffers overflow.
As Expat World has said in the past, "the biggest crime of all governments is government itself." Governments, at least on this planet earth, have all the prosecutors, police forces and jails. With all these perverse institutions on their side, the person who sticks out his nose too far or voices his opinion too loudly to "tease" a government will find himself, in the real world, at the mercy of Big Brother and his agents. Governments will lie, cheat and steal to feed the vast and evil bureaucracy with the money it needs to propagate itself or provide financing that is "needed" by "society" to do good things for the "needy".
Unless you bury your stash as the pirates of old or use the ONE UNTRACEABLE BANK ACCOUNT EW IS GOING TO TELL YOU ABOUT, your stash is ultimately available to Big Brother and his henchmen.
Today, many in all societies have chosen drugs as the recreation of choice. Governments have taken advantage of the massive amount of drug use to create a "red herring". In using the red herring of hunting down big-time drug sellers, they have been able to convince governmental authorities around the world to open their bank accounts to Big Brother, when in reality, what they really want is to find all the money that they suspect is being hidden away by the small to large account holder from their tax bite. Armed with the bank's records they can then hunt down your money and confiscate it under some pretense, either real or imaginary. If you can be identified as owning an account, your money isn't safe in countries with so called "bank secrecy" laws. (The trick is to have an account in a good bank-secrecy-law country in which no one but you has any idea who the owner of the account is - more on that later.) If a government agency want bad enough to know your financial position in a bank, secrecy laws in place or not, otherwise unattainable records are provided in record time. History bears this out! Drug money or related activities are the smoke screens that seem to be the key to opening secret bank accounts - no matter that the closest you've got to the drug scene is watching a Cheech and Chong movie. The prevailing theme everywhere among "Big Brothers" is that the end justifies the means. Using drug charges is quicker than trying to go a legal route by court orders and such since what the authorities are actually seeking to prevent is your try at robbery-evasion, known to them as tax evasion.
To open a bank account you need ID. In your own country usually a drivers license or national identity card will do. Walk into a bank abroad to open an account and it usually can be done but you must produce your passport for ID as well as an address. The bank photocopies the passport, records and your address before opening the account. In some countries, and in most offshore banking centers, it is possible to open an account by mail without any photocopy of your passport of other ID buy you still must provide an address for bank communications. The address is the weak link if you're seeking secure financial privacy. Some offshore centers like the Isle of Man require a reference from another bank or two references form professional people who will swear you are who you say you are. With any of the above options you are luring yourself into a false sense of security or have broken more laws than one wants to in trying to preserve your right to financial privacy.
All PT's are aware of owning a second passport to use for banking purposes (banking passport). This passport is almost always issued in your "pen name" and probably has a maildrop address associated with the paperwork needed to issue the passport. If you use a legally issued 2nd passport, not a forged or stolen blank, and you use it low profile and remain yourself low profile, you only have a very slight risk of future ramifications. If you are going to stash away a considerable amount of your assets, this may be the recommended way to go. You may obtain legally issued 2nd foreign passports form a broker or directly from some governments who provide second travel documents because of some "aid" you have provided to their pet government projects. Be careful with brokers for 90% of them are crooks - use only recommended or successful brokers who personally escrow the associated costs until the documents are delivered. This passport can be used for banking purposes and used in conjunction with a daisy-chain of banks through "Transit Accounts" to make your money and you almost untraceable. (Transit Account - Special Report available at US $20 from Expat World. Airmailed!)
The ins and outs of secret banking can lead to a vicious circle which eventually leads to YOU unless you are meticulous and careful - - except for "the world's only untraceable bank account". This untraceable account makes it possible for people with as little as US $50 or more than US $50 million who want to keep it secret from EVERYBODY - government snoopers, lawyers, money-grabbing ex-spouses, etc. - to need not have the cunning of James Bond in avoiding bankruptcy or capture by Big Brother's of this world.
Surprisingly, the safest way to have a secret untraceable bank account is also the easiest IF you have the one connection necessary. Anyone can open a "Sparbuch" account with the right connection without showing any sort of ID whatsoever, without giving any references or any address and without having to go through a lot of circumvent moves. One of the least known and best guarded secrets in the International Banking community is the Austrian "Sparbuch" account. In privacy terms it beats any back or financial account on the planet earth. With the "Sparbuch" there is no need to create a single individual or a string of "creative references". No need to worry about ID or obtaining addresses in other countries. There's no toilet paper trail for any poop-smelling G-man to follow.
The "Sparbuch" account is as old, almost, as banking itself. All German speakers will realize it literally means "Saving Book" or more generally "Passbook". In appearance it is not very impressive - just a folded piece of cardboard with the name of the bank and a computer printout of the most recent transaction pertaining to the account.
Tremendous Advantages, Few Disadvantages
ADVANTAGES: First of all, if you're Austrian you will not need Expat World's services because any Austrian can simply walk into any bank in Austria, deposit any amount (by today's practices about US $50) and five minutes later walk out with a "Sparbuch".
The "Sparbuch" account does not carry a name BUT A CHOICE may be either in the name of an individual, a corporation, including offshore corporations or as we have stressed, it may be in no name at all; a so called "Euberbringer" account or "bearer-passbook". As the names implies, he who brings the books presumed to be the legal owner. An "Euberbringer-Sparbuch" is the bank equivalent to company bearer shares. In addition to the secrecy protection built into this no name, no nothing account, Austrian general bank secrecy laws make Switzerland and the rest of Europe look like they are partners with the IRS, Inland Revenue and the rest of the money stealers. With the "Sparbuch" account, additional security is provided in keeping the wolves from you door by having them not know what door to look for. No account statements are EVER mailed to account owners for the bank doesn't require an address to open the account. It may sound odd, but think of the individuals who have had their lives upset because tax authorities, ex-spouses, police or other privacy invaders have intercepted their mail. Instead of statements being sent to "Sparbuch" account holders, the "Sparbuch" is updated automatically and any interest accrued added whenever the "Sparbuch" is presented at any branch of the issuing bank.
It is unquestionable impossible to establish just who opened the "Sparbuch" account (and who owns it) by means of checking available records - - since no record has been created except the physical "Sparbuch" itself and the account number in the bank computer system. No forms to fill out, no ID to show, no nothing!
To make a deposit in "Sparbuch" cash in any currency can be hand-carried to the bank and plonk down, no questions asked. It will be converted to Austrian shillings before being credited to your account. One can mail money orders or checks to any branch of the relevant bank with a note to credit the "Sparbuch", account number such and such. SWIFT electronic transfers may be made to "Sparbuch" by registered mail or courier with and enclosed note stating that you wish to make a withdrawal and include the "Logungswort" (the code). The bank will do so provided you pay the applicable charges to have a check made out and mailed to you along with the "Sparbuch".
It is entirely legal to transfer a "Sparbuch" from one person to another without giving the bank or anyone else notice about this. In certain countries it has been made a crime by Big Brother to sell or even give away a passbook. See, Big Brother want to collect as much data about bank account holders worldwide as possible. A "Sparbuch" can be sent to someone through the mail to pay back a debt or left in a sealed envelope with a will as a loophole to beating immoral probate taxes. You can even donate the "Sparbuch" to the Save the Whales Foundation if you are so inclined.
Furthermore, the "Sparbuch" is completely safe. Even though it's not strictly necessary a "Sparbuch" will usually be issued with a code which is needed whenever withdrawals are made. The code is chosen by the customer himself (no 007, please!) - the way it should be for the customer knows best what is easiest for him to remember. If the "sparbuch" is lost, one quite simply applies to the bank, gives the name (if any) of the account, the account number and the code - the so called "Losungswort) - and a new "Sparbuch" is issued, usually with no charge.
When you do have an Austrian "Sparbuch" account, you have created that very important first step towards opening bank accounts in other countries in whatever name you wish. If for example, you want to open an account in some tax haven where you wish to stash some of the "mother mode", quite simply write to open an account in a name suitably different from your own and give the Austrian bank as a reference. In due course you will have little difficulty getting international credit cards from our tax haven bank with references from an Austrian bank where you never showed an ID at all.
An enterprising PT friend of mine let me have a peek at his Gold American Express card made out to "Scrooge McDuckle". Needless to say, it's not advisable to use this card in English speaking locations. If you wish to keep a good chunk of liquid funds available that you may stash just about anywhere, or even bring with you on your travels, the "Sparbuch" account is the perfect solution.
Another nice feature of the "Sparbuch" account is that you don't have to fear the local authorities when crossing the border of countries that put a restriction on the amount of money you may bring in or out with declaration or confiscation. The "Sparbuch" is not considered cash or any other "monetary instrument". Many big-moneyed clients travel throughout Europe on business and pleasure with one or two, five-figure "Sparbuchs" in their possession, fully protected by "Logungswort", to meet any type of deal that may come up. It's only a quick trip to Austria for instant untraceable cash.
A Few Disadvantages: Being a truly secret bearer passbook account, a "Sparbuch" usually doesn't offer high interest rates - generally in the 3-5% range with slightly higher rates for opening an account with a 12 month notice of withdrawal.
A "Sparbuch" account may only be opened in Austrian shillings which is not in the EMS (the European Monetary Scam). This may be a blessing in disguise rather than a slight drawback since the Austrian shilling for the past few years has been tied to the Deutsch mark. The Austrian shilling has been almost the most stable and reliable currency in Europe over the last two decades. In the real world, the Austrian shilling offers a greater degree of stability than the Swiss franc.
Since the point of the exercise is to open and ensure a completely unquestionable, secret bank account without leaving a paper trail for snoops of any persuasion to follow, one has to take special care about exactly how a "Sparbuch" account is opened.
It is impossible to open a "Sparbuch" by mail; so someone has to physically appear in Austria in order to open the account. Needless to say, this someone should be a person with no link or connection to the person wanting to open the account. In fact, the less known about the prospective "Sparbuch" owner the better for even under torture the Austrian opening up the account for the client would have nothing to tell!
So do you have to go to Austria? Yes - and no. First off, the "Sparbuch" account is open to everyone, but there is a slight catch. You need not be a resident of Austria to open a "Sparbuch" account UNLESS, THAT IS, you are willing to go through the revealing and exhausting process of producing a passport, providing an address and so forth. Obviously this would destroy the advantage most "Sparbuch" owners are seeking.
The "Sparbuch" account is the ultimate in banking secrecy but for some reason the Austrian authorities have kept the ultra low-profile for Austrians only. They haven't extended this service to foreigners BUT it is possible to circumvent the "resident" bit. It can be done the easy way with Expat World or it can be done the hard way with a lot of cunning and a good portion of luck, having a fair knowledge of German, and the ability to "prove" that you reside in Austria.
At EW we decided that we would try to get a "Sparbuch" the "hard way". We thought we could finesse our way around the Austrian residency routine, us being PT's and knowledgeable in loophole maneuvering. So we set out to do what is impossible in any country known to us: Open a bank account in a fast, clean, efficient manner, with no fuss and no one asking to see our passport.
In bank after bank, we were spotted as obvious foreigners and no amount of carefully rehearsed lines in German could convince the bank tellers that there was no reason why we should produce a passport just to open an account. To a man, almost, they insisted that, yes, we had to do just that.
The first day and most of the second, we went to over 40 banks located on just about every street corner in Vienna before we managed to open one measly "Sparbuch" without having to hand over our passport. Whether we finessed the clerk with our haggard looks after a full day of hassling with previous bank clerks, or the clerk was half asleep, we don't really know, but we did open the account without our travel documents but we did have to fill out a form to open the account and leave our fingerprints all over the original. Needless to say, even if one is moderately conversive in German, if there is any hint that he is not a resident of Austria, i.e., a foreigner, the road to opening an account on your own is filled with frustration and complications. Although we did finally succeed winning the battle, we were one tiny bit short of winning the war.
Even if you could endure the time, frustration and expense, master enough German and convince a bank clerk to do what he's really not supposed to do - THINK ABOUT IT, if the purpose of having a "Sparbuch" is to fully and completely avoid leaving clues that may eventually lead to yourself, including your fingerprints, why show up at the bank in person. Bank employees have, on occasion, been known to have frightfully good memories. SO WHY NOT CONSIDER LETTING SOMEONE ELSE DO THE JOB - it does not have to be expensive. Time is money. Letting someone else go through the bothersome motions makes sense in more ways than one.
Expat World has connections with a lawyer who has offered to open a "Sparbuch" account for EW clients with no hassles whatsoever. You do not need to show any ID, no photocopies of your passport or drivers license are needed. These "Sparbuchs" are delivered "off the shelf" as anonymous ("Euberbringer") accounts, complete with an easy to remember code ("Logungswort"). They come, as standard, with an opening balance of 1,000 Austrian shillings, roughly about US $100. A small service charge is incurred for this service. There is absolutely nothing more to it than merely writing a short note and enclosing a check, money order or cash. You will not even be asked to fill out any forms or sign anything whatsoever - not even the modest and unthreatening form which even Austrian residents are required to fill out!
You should feel free to order your "Sparbuch" account in any name different from your own (after all, that's what this whole game is about) or no name at all.
Now for some really good news! The total price, including both the opening balance (the money actually already in the account when you receive the "Sparbuch") and all the postage and handling, plus the service of our lawyer/agent is only US $550. Since this amount buys you an account with a balance of US $100 already in it, the "real" charge is US $450. No can you come close to opening the account on your own for less money.
After EW receives your funds, allow 2-4 weeks for the delivery of the "Sparbuch" which will be air mailed to you anywhere in the world. Mail drop addresses or hotel addresses are fine places to have your new secret "bearer-passbook" received. As an extra service, worldwide DHL courier delivery is available at an additional charge of US $50.
Consider the alternatives. Whether or not you do it yourself or leave the job to competent professionals, as we recommend, how often are you presented with such a clear-cut, easy-to-use and ready-to-roll solution to true privacy in banking?
If you wish to get an Austrian "Sparbuch", please send the necessary remittance to Expat World, Box 1341, Raffles City, Singapore 9117. Don't forget to include the address where you want the "Sparbuch" sent. We'll do the rest. Remember we take no prisoners and take no records!
Once you have formed your own non-profit organization, you merely place in your corporate charter the provision that life insurance and pension be paid by the organization of which you are a member.
It is important to select the right bank. Do NOT choose any bank―be fussy! There are two main objectives to seek when searching for a new bank.