Asiaciti is a Singapore-based firm that provides company and trust administration services for clients around the world.
Founded by an Australian accountant and art collector, Graeme Briggs, the company has offices in the Cook Islands, Samoa, Nevis, Hong Kong, Panama, and in New Zealand. Its New Zealand operations have been active since 2001 and are currently based on O'Connell St in Auckland.
Asiaciti is one of 14 offshore service providers whose records have been laid bare in the Pandora Papers. It did not respond to questions about individual clients, citing confidentiality, but issued the following statement to the Herald:
STATEMENT FROM ASIACITI
Asiaciti Trust provides fiduciary services to clients around the world. Our work is subject to stringent law and regulation by the relevant authorities in each jurisdiction in which we operate. We are committed to the highest business standards, including ensuring that our operations fully comply with all laws and regulations.
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You are undoubtedly aware that the same stringent law and regulation requires us to strictly maintain confidentiality and protect personal data. We are therefore unable to comment further on specifics, save to state categorically that it would be patently indefensible for you to superficially conclude that your allegations about us are true on the basis that we have provided no information for your purposes.
We maintain a strong compliance programme and each of our offices have passed third party audits for Anti-Money Laundering & Counter-Financing of Terrorism practices in recent years, which reflects our intense focus on this area. No compliance programme is infallible – and when an issue is identified, we take necessary steps with regard to the client engagement and make the appropriate notifications to regulatory agencies.
The regulatory and industry landscape has evolved over the course of our 45-year history, and we have worked diligently to comply with prevailing regulations through this passage of time. Compliance is core to our business and we have adapted our company to meet the changing requirements. Any organisation operating over such a length of time is likely to have legacy matters that do not reflect the current business. We recognise there have been isolated instances in the past where we have not kept pace, and in these situations we have worked closely with regulatory authorities to address any deficiencies and quickly updated our policies and procedures.
We have reviewed the information provided by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and its media partners, including the New Zealand Herald – some of which appears to be illegally accessed from Asiaciti Trust. There are many inaccuracies and instances where important details are missing, which have led to grossly misleading inferences and conclusions about Asiaciti Trust.
We take this opportunity to inform you that your allegations about us are premised on inaccuracies and incomplete information. You are well aware of this, as reflected by your efforts to obtain information from us. We are disappointed that the ICIJ and its media partners, including the Herald, persist with your intention to publish a story based on your distorted version of the facts to negatively characterise our industry, company and clients.