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ALOFI, Niue (Niue News, July 30) - Principals of an offshore company registered in Niue are facing fraud charges in New Zealand.

The National Business Review (NBR) this week revealed that two of those facing charges are prominent businessmen alleged to have been involved in a tax saving investment scheme linked to one of New Zealand's top law firms.

The NBR reports a wide ranging suppression order has been granted blocking publication of details of one business person; the other is described as a tax exile who has fled overseas.

SFO is working with British police to obtain an extradition order on the businessman. The charges allege a package of documents in timber futures was used to obtain pecuniary advantage for themselves and others.

Reports indicate that papers relating to the transaction held by the Niue government off shore business company registry Mossack Fonseca had been destroyed in January's cyclone Heta.

Niue withdrew its four offshore banking licenses last year to conform to strict OECD requirements concerning money laundering.

The island's international business company registration has been allowed to continue operating.

August 2, 2004

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