Moody’s Analytics, a leading American economic company, has recently released a report on “shelf companies”, which are companies registered according to all rules but with no real activities, commonly used for offshore operations. In Israel, these companies are referred to as “exchange skeletons”. The report analyzed the registration of 472 million of these “skeletons” worldwide to identify potential structures for money laundering and terror financing.
The report uncovered some startling statistics. For example, at least 4,000 people over the age of 120 years old were registered as board members of these companies. One particularly bizarre case was the director of a Belgian-registered company listed as 943 years old, implying that he lived in the 11th century. Additionally, there were 8,000 board members under the age of 10 years old, with 4,000 of them being under five years old.
Furthermore, the report found that the registration of 22,000 shelf companies worldwide listed the Pyramids in Giza, Egypt as their official address. In Pretoria, South Africa, there were 61,000 companies registered in one shopping center alone. Meanwhile in Madrid, Spain, there were 8