Secrets of the Cyprus Heist

Look around the European Union, follow the money trail and it will eventually lead back to one nation that isn’t being penalized. Hint: It’s known as the “export master” of the world and something people commonly thought was contained after sparking two of the bloodiest wars in world history. It’s looking like 1913 all over again.

I have served as a flag-man among the pirates of offshore banking. I know Cyprus well and have sailed into Larnaca in the dead of night, in small boats, on business. But in this story, the good guys and bad guys are not who you think they are.

Let me show you why the plunder of Cyprus is probably one of the most brilliant acts of wholesale theft the world has ever known, why the stolen treasure may be thousands of times greater than has been suggested, and why the names of the victims, and the full value of the loot, will remain a mystery forever.

In order to understand what has happened in Cyprus, you must first conjure, in your mind, images representing a truly colossal amount of money.

Briefcases full of cash? Think shipping containers. Bafflingly intricate networks of corporate and private wealth, shell companies, holding companies and staggering transfers between these entities and others. Think private planes and mega-yachts, too – the works – and multiply this kaleidoscope by thousands of beneficial owners, major shareholders and top executives all over the world. Continue reading