From SouthEast Asia, Europe, and North America, each of the guilds owned by the Eight Evils and Eight Virtues had their own territories. Tax havens were like that, and Wall Street’s elites sent their funds to the Caymans, offshore insurance money went to Bermuda, terrorism and Columbian drug money went to Panama and Nevada, both Latin American gang funding and the “retirement” funds from Latin American dictators and oligarchs went to Florida, European securities firm funds went to Ireland and Luxembourg, Asian funds went to Hong Kong, and most of the other European funds went to Crown dependencies like he Bailiwick of Jersey and Isle of Man or Switzerland.
Of course, as the funds increased, multiple tax havens were used. However, as tax havens are chosen based on utility and convenience, the above framework still holds. Therefore, Carl, an old agent who introduced himself as a villain with a smile, recommended Switzerland. On the other hand, his office did not suit a villain. The office boasted a 180-degree panoramic view, and he was sitting behind a a window with a lovely overlook of Central Park. I once had a passionate relationship with a girl with attractive red hair there.
Carl spoke as he stared at the window with me.
“The view from my office is my second favorite thing to boast about. It is peaceful. While New York is competitive, one can find peace in Central Park. That’s why I recommend Switzerland, as the country is Europe’s Central Park with deep tradition and history. Switzerland is that rare country that is not influenced by global politics and will remain neutral even if World War 3 comes. Safety is best.”
He requested seven million dollars to establish the company by proxy and an annual maintenance fee of five million.
“It will only take a day.”
Money was not a problem.
“My clients are determined that the firm is on the Isle of Man.”
As my stance did not change, Carl quickly changed directions.
“Do as you wish. I only want to build long-term trust.”
It was true. While there were many tax havens all over the world, Switzerland was the most secretive. However, that was only until 1997, and in this year, 1998, the Holocaust will come to haunt the Gnomes of Zürich from an unexpected direction. (EN: Gnomes of Zürich is a slang term for Swiss bankers. Swiss bankers are popularly associated with extremely secretive policies, while gnomes in fairy tales live underground, in secret, counting their riches. Zürich is the commercial centre of Switzerland.)
It was not only the dormant funds of the Jewish victims, with almost impossible proof-of-ownership requirements, but the laundering of Nazi funds, like something out of a bad novel, that was revealed to the world. As a result, Swiss banks will be attacked and they will surrender to the massive public outcry. That was the true reason I came to Carl’s office, out of the many agent offices that managed the funds we took out of the Asian Financial crisis.
In 1998, this year, the documents that will make Swiss banks capitulate came from this office.
Jonathan had always been worried that the offshore billions would be discovered, and we would be imprisoned for the rest of our lives. However, while the probability was less than 1%, I had come to Carl’s office to nullify even that single percent. The last agent to handle our offshore funds had been Carl, and he seemed to be deeply interested in the briefcase I had brought with me and now placed on the table.
I stood up to lock the office door, and this act alarmed Carl. It did not take long for Carl to shout into his phone, and while he yelled a name I thought to be his secretary, Carl and I were alone in the offices. I had not asked to meet during lunch without reason.
“Don’t be scared.”
I spoke coldly as I approached Carl and took the phone away from him first. I did it slowly but with force, and it did not matter whether Carl had tried to resist. The phone slid from his fingers when our eyes met, and his eyes were filled with fear.
People had those eyes when they had faced monsters at the Trial Tests, and Carl had also seen one in me for a moment.
“I only want a confidential conversation with you without interference.”
Carl did not open his mouth, and it was evident that he was busy calculating how to safely get out of this situation. He avoided my eyes and looked about the office. He glanced at the fountain pen on the desk and the computer keyboard. Stabbing a person in the neck with a fountain pen takes courage rather than skill, and his gaze then stopped on the briefcase containing a million dollars in bearer bonds with coupons attached I had brought with me. His mouth opened then.
“Have you come from a gang?”
Whether it be a terrorist, a gangster, or a drug dealer, one acted as a Wall Street finance manager in an agent’s office. Therefore, it was difficult to recognize them in a place like this. Carl would have only met those who wore nice suits, talked knowledgeably about money, and acted politely like people who worked in the banks across the street.
Carl looked confused at my smile and the fact I had not done anything after I stopped the phone call he attempted. I had actually gone back to my seat and calmly sat down.
“You deal in gang money?”
Carl’s eyes came back to normal at my words.
“Say what you want, and don’t scare me.”
He acknowledged that he was weaker than me. While we were similar in height and build, he had given up physically attacking me perhaps because of his age. I opened my briefcase and showed him the million in bearer bonds. Carl’s pupils dilated, and he involuntarily licked his lips.
“This is a million in bearer bonds. This is payment for using your computer.”
Carl did not understand what I was saying at first, but his eyes suddenly widened.
“This is a problem. I know what you’re searching for, but it’s not here. We keep our client’s names our top-secret…”
I stood up again, and the room suddenly became tense again.
“Like Swiss banks!”
Carl shouted in a rush, and he was not stupid enough to move like he was protecting the computer. I was looking down on him, and he was looking up to me. I spoke only one word.
My voice rang in the room.
It was no laughing matter that politicians who were former soldiers had a place in Korean National Assembly, as the unexpected threat of violence could be as effective in politics as it was surprising. Even if I had not touched him, Carl had never been exposed to even mild violence like this, and the situation was taking place in his office. While he had to protect the computer at all costs, he moved.
The verbal resistance he showed was an obvious bluff.
“My passwords are managed by my secretary. This is too much. I swear on my family, what you’re looking for does not exist in that computer.”
Carl was acting dumb, as he would give up the password should a blade come near his throat. However, I did no such thing. I put in the CD I had brought with me and solved the password in front of Carl’s eyes. The password cracker program acted like the Awakened attacking a boss monster.
Carl’s face turned pale, not only because I solved the password, but the screen showed that there were folders for each year, and there were files with clients’ names on them in each.
“I…I didn’t know about that.”
I gestured at him to remain quiet and pointed to a corner of the room. I shot a warning when Carl remained still.
“Do you want me to delete them all? Stay quiet.”
Carl realized that I was being polite, and he stood in front of a bookshelf far from the computer. He could open the door and call the police, but he knew that federal agents would come rushing in if he did so. Then, persecutors would find a pile of evidence of his clients who had violated the RICO laws. Carl spoke in a shaking voice from the thought of the office filled with federal agents. (EN: The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. The RICO Act focuses specifically on racketeering and allows the leaders of a syndicate to be tried for the crimes they ordered others to do or assisted them in doing, closing a perceived loophole that allowed a person who instructed someone else to, for example, murder, to be exempt from the trial because they did not actually commit the crime personally)
“I will help you search, so just say so.”
This was also laughable, as he would not know. Those with money, including myself, were careful when using agents as a proxy, and the folders Carl had categorized by client names were firms that only existed in tax havens. They were firms whose owners were deliberately obfuscated, and Carl did not know whose funds he was handling. I also did not know every one of my paper companies. Even if the Holocaust case came to the surface, it would be impossible for the government to discover everything about my paper companies. However, I liked to keep things tidy if I knew there were any traces left.
“I said we should have Thai food.”
“But the lunch was tasty.”
Carl’s employees had come back from lunch from the noise, and Carl knew what he had to do to survive. When I nodded, he went out of the room for a moment. While the office phone may ring, it would not connect to this room since Carl would have said he was having a meeting with a valuable client.
I erased the relevant documents and the computer log files recording the erasure. The sky had turned dark when I had finished everything, and Carl had stopped pacing and was sitting across from me to wait.
“I wasted a day because of you. Secrets? You have to be joking.”
I stood up with those words, and while Carl seemed utterly spent, he also stood up.
“I’ll take that.”
Carl was talking about my bearer bonds. I had not fixed the price at random, and it would be his average earning per project.
“Keep it. Today’s not the end.”
“If it’s too much of a burden, keep it as a retainer. Finish establishing the investment firm in the Isle of Man.”
All of these agents left behind evidence, and I could not do this every time. It would be better to just buy this place.
Edited by Userunfriendly
(EN: Whew. Sun can be pretty ruthless when needed. Remember, he’s only 15. ^_^ )