Offshore Capital

(Initiated: 2019)

 

An ongoing database of 3D laser scans of property in London owned by offshore companies. Many of these entities are based in tax havens. Some selections from my scan database are listed below.

The property information that accompanying each scan is sourced from 2022 HM Land Registry records.

See bottom of page for full project information. Future project outcomes include: a book, digital prints, and 3D laser etched glass sculptures of each scan.

Address (above)
10 Aldermanbury, London, EC2V 7RF

Proprietor
Havisham S.A.R.L.

Country
Luxembourg

Date purchased
05/05/2011

Price paid
£259,000,000

Address (above)
41 Lothbury, London, EC2R 7HH

Proprietor
Pembroke Lothbury Limited

Country
Guernsey

Date purchased
07/04/2008

Price paid
£47,833,043

Address (above)
430, to 449 (all) Strand, (WC2R 0QN), 1 to 10 (all) Adelaide Street, (WC2N 4HZ) and 1 to 18 (all) William IV Street, London

Proprietor
Bradstreet Properties Limited

Country
British Virgin Islands

Date purchased
07/12/2009

Price paid
£28,000,000

Address (above)
Flat H, 95 Eaton Square, London, SW1W 9AQ

Proprietor
Chelsea Trust Company Limited

Country
Jersey

Date purchased
22/05/2013

Price paid
Not recorded

Address (above)
63, Sussex Square, London, W2 2SR

Proprietor
Palazzo Investments Group Limited

Country
British Virgin Islands

Date purchased
23/05/2008

Price paid
Not recorded

Address (above)
St Saviours House, Walton Street, London, SW3 1SA

Proprietor
Walton International Holdings Limited

Country
Bahamas

Date purchased
15/05/2014

Price paid
£41,000,000

Address (above)
Duncan House, 36 Broadway Market, London Fields, E8 4QJ

Proprietor
International Aircon (BVI) Limited

Country
British Virgin Islands

Date purchased
16/07/2012

Price paid
Not recorded

Offshore Capital

 

London is home to a web of property investments made by companies based outside of the UK. Many of these entities are based in offshore tax havens. While some of this is for legitimate purposes, property is often held in this way to avoid tax, to conceal the identity of the investors, and to hide dubious wealth.

 

Since 2019 I have been making a 3D scan database of the network of property in London owned by offshore companies. I have done this using a database which was compiled and published in 2015 by the British investigative journalism magazine Private Eye. I have updated their records to reflect London’s offshore property market in 2022.

 

My 3D scans have been made using a mobile lidar laser scanner. In a way similar to how sonar or radar works, the scanner creates ‘clouds’ of digital points by firing and measuring the time it takes for millions of laser beams to hit the hard surface of buildings and then bounce back to the device. It then triangulates these points together into a 3D map.

 

The scanner has limitations in its ability to copy accurately, however. What it can ‘see’ is affected by the position of the scanner (what is within the 30 meter radius of the device), its inability to penetrate hard walls and objects, the quality of its resolution, and my walking speed. As such these scans are surface level captures of these properties, based on what the scanner could capture from my position on the street as I walked past. The scans both collect visual information on these properties but also reflect our limited abilities to fully capture them and to grasp their inner chambers.

 

Published next to the image of each property is the ownership and purchase information. These records have been taken from from Private Eye’s database and then cross referenced with the latest available 2022 data from the UK government’s Land Registry service (HM Land Registry).

 

Future project outcomes include: a book, digital prints, and 3D laser etched glass sculptures of each scan.

 

Private Eye’s original map can be accessed here:

https://www.private-eye.co.uk/registry

 

HM Land Registry can be accessed here:

https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry

 

This project has been supported by equipment loans from Prof Mat Disney, UCL Geography, and NERC NCEO.