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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

"Had Enough Of Cowboys? Lets Try The Indians!"

Curry house caught in tax smear

Jersey has come under attack from tax campaigners in the UK at a major rally to highlight tax avoidance and evasion.

This time they claimed an Indian restaurant in St Helier was being used as a front for hundreds of British firms wanting to reduce the amount they pay the Exchequer.

Jersey's financial watchdog say the allegation is untrue - the owner of the New Raj Tandoori says he's frustrated by the smear.

The Jersey Financial Services Commission say they have looked into the claim and that it's totally without foundation.

They believe it's become some kind of urban myth among tax campaigners because years ago the building above the restaurant used to be a base for hundreds of businesses, but even they've now gone.

Restaurant owner Kass Malik is frustrated by it all.

He said: "It is very frustrating yes. I don't know where this thing crops up and why they pick on me. As I've said I've been running this restaurant for all these years and people in Jersey frequent my place as a customer."

Christian Aid is calling on the Channel Islands to sign up to a new worldwide tax agreement to remove any sense of shadiness.

Anthony Hilton, City Editor at the London Evening Standard, said: "I think attitudes have changed quite a lot. I think if you go back 20 to 30 years there was a slight dubiousness about it but now the Channel Islands are recognised very much as being part and parcel of the international financial scene."

But the man in charge of promoting Jersey's finance industry admits there will always be trouble.

Geoff Cook of Jersey Finance said: "We won't win over some people who are ideologically opposed to finance, to capitalism, but they're a relatively small but noisy fringe. We've got to focus on the policy makers, the public at large, and make sure they know we're a cop-operative, well-regulated and transparent centre."

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