Friday, May 27, 2016

South Africa's parliament approves land expropriation bill

South Africa's parliament approves land expropriation bill 

May 26, 2016


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Engr Chris Ogiemwonyi, the man of the people, buys nomination forms for Edo Governorship race slated fpr Sept. 10. Meanwhile, the Association of Edo APC Delegates endorses the aspiration of Engr. Ogiemwonyi for the governorship of Edo State. The association is made up of 9 delegates each from the 192 wards in the State. In a meeting held in Benin City over the weekend, they endorsed the candidacy of Ogiemwonyi. Shouts of no to imposition and no to governor say rented the air. They bitterly denounced the idea of those in government who are seeking to maintain the status quo and their hold on governors patronage by play on the intelligence of the delegates with their continuity slogan. The delegates observed that the continuity was for their pocket and personal interest..

Monday, May 16, 2016

Man Receives First Penis Transplant in the United States

Video

Penis Transplant News Conference

After announcing the first successful penis transplant operation in the United States, officials at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston discussed the patient, Thomas Manning, and the surgery with the news media.
 By CBS, VIA REUTERS on Publish DateMay 16, 2016.Photo by Kayana Szymczak for The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »
A man whose penis was removed because of cancer has received the first penis transplant in the United States, at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Thomas Manning, 64, a bank courier from Halifax, Mass., underwent the 15-hour transplant operation on May 8 and 9. The organ came from a deceased donor.
“I want to go back to being who I was,” Mr. Manning said on Friday in an interview in his hospital room. Sitting up in a chair, happy to be out of bed for the first time since the operation, he said he felt well and had experienced hardly any pain.
“We’re cautiously optimistic,” said Dr. Curtis L. Cetrulo, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and a leader of the surgical team. “It’s uncharted waters for us.”
The surgery is experimental, part of a research program with the ultimate goal of helping combat veterans with severe pelvic injuries, as well as cancer patients and accident victims.
If all goes as planned, normal urination should be possible for Mr. Manning within a few weeks, and sexual function in weeks to months, Dr. Cetrulo said.
Mr. Manning welcomed questions and said he wanted to speak out publicly to help dispel the shame and stigma associated with genital cancers and injuries, and to let other men know there was hope of having normal anatomy restored.
Continue reading the main story
“Don’t hide behind a rock,” he said.
He said he was not quite ready to take a close look at his transplant.
He will have to take several anti-rejection drugs for the rest of his life. One of them, tacrolimus, seems to speed nerve regeneration and may help restore function to the transplant, Dr. Cetrulo said.
Another patient, his penis destroyed by burns in a car accident, will receive a transplant as soon as a matching donor becomes available, Dr. Cetrulo said.
Surgeons at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine are also planning to perform penis transplants, and have had a combat veteran, injured in Afghanistan, on the waiting list for several months.
Photo
Dr. Dicken Ko, left, and Dr. Curtis L. Cetrulo, leaders of the surgical team, at Massachusetts General Hospital this month. CreditKayana Szymczak for The New York Times
Dr. Cetrulo estimated the cost at $50,000 to $75,000. Both hospitals are paying for the procedures, and the doctors are donating their time.
Worldwide, only two other penis transplants have been reported: a failed one in China in 2006 and a successful one in South Africa in 2014, in which the recipient later fathered a child.
Veterans are a major focus of transplant programs in the United States because suicide rates are exceptionally high in soldiers with severe damage to the genitals and urinary tract, Dr. Cetrulo said. “They’re 18- to 20-year-old guys, and they feel they have no hope of intimacy or a sexual life,” he said. “They can’t even go to the bathroom standing up.”
Given the psychological toll, he said, a penis transplant can be lifesaving.
Dr. Cetrulo said the team would most likely perfect its techniques on civilian patients and then move on to injured veterans. It will also train military surgeons to perform the transplants. The Department of Defense, he said in an email, “does not like to have wounded warriors undergo unproven techniques — i.e., they do not want them to be ‘guinea pigs,’ as they have already sacrificed so much.”
His team is working on ways to minimize or even eliminate the need for anti-rejection medicines, which transplant patients typically have to take. That research is especially important for veterans, he said, because many are young and will risk serious adverse effects, like cancer and kidney damage, if they have to take the drugs for decades.
From 2001 to 2013, 1,367 men in the military suffered so-called genitourinary injuries in Iraq or Afghanistan, according to the Department of Defense Trauma Registry. Nearly all were under 35 and had been hurt by homemade bombs, commonly called improvised explosive devices, or I.E.D.s. Some lost part or all of their penises.
The Massachusetts General team spent three years preparing for the penis transplants. The team did meticulous dissections in a cadaver lab to map out anatomy, and operated on five or six dead donors to practice removing the tissue needed for the transplants. Mr. Manning’s operation involved about a dozen surgeons and 30 other health care workers.
Dr. Dicken Ko, a team leader and the director of the hospital’s regional urology program, said the team had not planned a set number of transplants. Instead, he said, the hospital would evaluate candidates one at a time and decide whether to allow surgery. For now, he said, the transplants will be limited to cancer and trauma patients, and will not be offered to transgender people.
An accident at work in 2012 brought Mr. Manning to the hospital, and ultimately to the transplant team. Heavy equipment had fallen on him, causing severe injuries. The doctors treating him saw an abnormal growth on his penis that he had not noticed.
Tests revealed an aggressive and potentially fatal cancer. Penile cancer is rare, with about 2,030 new cases and 340 deaths expected in the United States this year.
If not for the accident, Mr. Manning said, “I would’ve been in the ground two years ago.”
Doctors said that to save his life, they would have to remove most of his penis, in an operation called a partial penectomy. Mr. Manning’s urologic oncologist, Dr. Adam S. Feldman, estimated that a few hundred men a year needed full or partial penectomies because of cancer.

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Mr. Manning was left with a stump about an inch long. He had to sit to urinate. Intimacy was out of the picture. He was single and was not involved with anyone when the cancer was found. After the amputation, new relationships were unthinkable. “I wouldn’t go near anybody,” he said.
He continued: “I couldn’t have a relationship with anybody. You can’t tell a woman, ‘I had a penis amputation.’”
Some people close to him urged him to keep the operation a secret, but he refused, saying that was like lying, and he had nothing to be ashamed of.
“I didn’t advertise, but if people asked, I told them the truth,” he said, adding that a few male friends made “guy talk” jokes at his expense, but that it toughened him up.
“Men judge their masculinity with their bodies,” he said.
Before he had even left the hospital after the amputation, he began asking Dr. Feldman about a transplant. No one at the hospital was considering the idea yet, and Dr. Feldman admits that he thought it was a bit outlandish.
But Mr. Manning never gave up hope. “I kept my eye on the prize,” he said.
Soon Dr. Cetrulo and Dr. Ko began talking about transplants. About three years later, Dr. Feldman called Mr. Manning to ask if he still wanted the operation.
After a battery of medical tests, interviews and psychological grilling — typical for transplant candidates, to make sure they understand the risks and will take anti-rejection medicine — Mr. Manning was on the waiting list. Two weeks later, a donor with the right blood type and skin tone became available.
Mr. Manning was stunned that it had happened so fast. Dr. Cetrulo credits the New England Organ Bank, which asks families of some dying patients to consider organ donation. The organ bank said the donor’s family wished to remain anonymous but had extended a message to Mr. Manning saying they felt blessed and were delighted his recovery was going well.
Organ banks do not assume that families who donate internal organs like kidneys and livers will also be willing to give visible or intimate parts like a face, hands or a penis. Those requests are made separately. Several families have agreed to allow the penis to be removed, and none have declined, said Jill Stinebring, the organ bank’s regional director of organ donation services.
So far, Mr. Manning has had one serious complication. The day after his surgery, he began to hemorrhage and was rushed back to the operating room.
Since then, his recovery has been smoother, he said. He has no regrets. He looks forward to going back to work and hopes to eventually have a love life again.
“If I’m lucky, I get 75 percent of what I used to be,” he said. “Before the surgery I was 10 percent. But they made no promises. That was part of the deal.”

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Boko Haram Leader Kaou Captured as 58 Militants Die in Raid

Boko Haram Leader Kaou Captured as 58 Militants Die in Raid

Updated on 
  • Capture comes as France prepares to back military efforts
  • Army forces rescued 46 hostages, caught 5 of Kaou’s aides
A joint military taskforce from Cameroon and Nigeria captured Boukar Kaou, a Boko Haram leader, during a raid in which 58 militants died, according to Cameroon’s government.
Kaou and five of his aides were captured in fighting in the Madawaya forest in northeastern Nigeria near the border with Cameroon on May 10 and 11, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, a spokesman for Cameroon’s government said in a statement read on state radio.
No soldiers died and 46 hostages were freed, including 18 women and 28 children, according to the statement. Three Boko Haram camps were destroyed and a consignment of weapons was found, he said.
The detention of Kaou comes as French President Francois Hollande prepares to push for rebuilding the impoverished region around Lake Chad and establish state authority while keeping military pressure on Boko Haram. The Islamist militant group has been waging a seven-year offensive that killed tens of thousands of people and spilled over into Cameroon, Chad and Niger, displacing as many as seven million people, according to the U.S. government.
Hollande will attend a meeting Saturday in the Nigerian capital of Abuja. Presidents of the former French colonies of Cameroon, Niger, Chad and Benin, as well as representatives of the U.S., U.K and European Union, are expected to attend.
Since taking power in May last year, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari relocated the army’s headquarters from the capital to Maiduguri, the epicenter of the insurgency, replaced his top military chiefs and vowed to recover billions of dollars stolen in defense spending corruption scandals. The Abuja talks are the second regional security summit after a meeting in Paris two years ago.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Edo 2016 a speech to the delegates.

SPEECH TO MY FELLOW DELEGATES @ A WORKSHOP

THEME

DON’T WASTE YOUR VOTE @THE EDO STATE  APC PRIMARIES IN JUNE 2016

Good morning my fellow delegates. Let me thank the organizers of this beautiful workshop for helping Nigerians to reinforce the importance of democracy.
Looking at this mammoth crowd of delegates from across the three senatorial districts, it is obvious that you have done your home work, a wonderful job for the state in particular and the nation as a whole.
The theme of this workshop speaks volumes, ‘Don't waste your vote @ the APC Primaries in June 2016’. This workshop is an opportunity for us, the delegates to rub minds as the future of Edo State rests upon what will do at the APC primaries.

1.      My names are Jacob Omoragbon. I am one of you. I am an LGA delegate from Oredo. We are now the beautiful Bride in today’s Edo State governorship primaries. We are the delegates that have the final say on this issue of who becomes the governor in 2016. Please sing along with me.. Who has the final say …. The Delegates have the final say.

2.     Our party, the All Progressives Congress, APC is a brand new party which came about with the merger of ACN, ANPP, CPC, APGA a faction of PDP called the New PDP. The Leadership gave the party a very democratic constitution. Before now, na ear we dey take hear say they don anoint person for governor. No be so? We are the very first set of delegates in APC history that will truly elect a representative governor in Edo State. If our leaders knew that this was going to be the case, that they were not going to be able to control us by telling us who to vote for, they will never have elected us as delegates. They would have anointed their wives and children. Now if they could remove us and replace us with their girlfriends they would have gladly done so. But that is not possible. Do not let them deceive you,  nobody can remove you as a delegate.

3.     Let me tell you this short story so you can situate the assignment God has given us delegates to do for Edo people. The story of Joseph in the Bible starting from Genesis 37. You know how Joseph brothers sold him into slavery and how he became a governor in Egypt. How his brother came to buy food from Egypt and when they came the second time how he revealed himself to them. When his brothers started crying for fear of the evil they did to Him. Joseph reassured them, he told them not to worry about the past, that God used them to achieve a purpose for the people. That if they have not sold him people would have starved to death. He said their action was for a set time like this.

4.     My dear delegates just like Joseph; God has assigned you for a special purpose. Your political assignment in life is to change the destiny of our people. This is the reason that brought you into politics and this is the reason God allowed you to be elected as a delegate. You are destiny changers. When you vote for a candidate that has a verifiable track record, a man who has managed men and resource far greater than Edo State budget, a man who has paid his due to the people. Vote for a man that has what it takes to change the life of the people. If you vote the right person, your destiny will change forever for good. My life will change and your life will change too. Lastly, do not waste your vote for any candidate that will come and learn how to manage at the level of a governor. You must vote your conscience and don't let governor say sway your mind. On that day the governor will cast his one vote and go just like you will cast your one vote and go. Nobody will intimidate you because the whole world is going to be watching on live television.

5.     About five months ago, I was at the government house to complain about thugs harassing market women and bus drivers for revenue. The people were paying to the thugs who instead of remitting the money to government coffers. They were using our tax revenue to building their private hotels all over the state. When I got there I saw people massing to see the Comrade Governor. So I asked who they were and what were they doing. One of them told me that they were serving Commissioners, Advisers, Senior Advisers, junior Advisers, Special Advisers, Senior Special Advisers, Executive Directors, Personal Assistants, revenue collectors, clearing and Forwarding agents in government. I asked again what their purpose was. He said they were there to ask the Comrade Governor to run for a third term. Wao, third term? I queried. As we were just talking Adams Oshiomhole walked in, climbed the podium to address the crowd. They were shouting third term, third term, third term, continuity, continuity, continuity. It was then it dawned on me that this self-serving people some of whom has been in government for more than 7 years wanted their salaries of #350,000 a month and other entitlements to continue for a new tenure.

6.     Comrade told them that it was not possible for him to do a third term but he has one of them in mind. Right there he introduced one Godwin Obaseki and the crowd shouted no, no, no, but the Comrade said  he has already anointed him. He said Godwin Obaseki’s mother is from Etsako. In anger and frustration they dispersed back to their offices. Three days later, the anointed aspirant wanted to go on tour to visit delegates. I heard that Oshomhole knelt down to beg the Commissioners to go with Obaseki. When they refused to go, it was said that he took a koboko,(Horse whip) to chase them. When they saw his countenance they reluctantly accompanied his anointed aspirant on the tour of some Local government secteriat.

7.     In life there is a time for everything under the sun. A time to live and a time to die. Live and let's live. I have always said that four years or eight years tenure is not forever. Some have been there for 16 years, Dr. Only Me. Those who were lucky to serve in this government have had their share of our commonwealth. When they were busy enjoying government patronages did any of you here border them? No. Now it is your turn to shine. It is now the turn of you the DELEGATES.(Sing a song)( Rise and shine, for the light is come 2 times, The glory of the Lord is come. The glory of the Lord is risen, the glory of the is risen up on me)

I have a question for all of you. Dem dey forbid if any of you is made a commissioner or an ED, SSA or a PA? Those doing the job now, do they have two heads? Are they better than us? Is it not our political labour and sweat that they are enjoying? The only aspirant that can give us that true change and a fresh start is Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi. It is only Ogiemwonyi that is going to build from the scratch and he will engage you first. A vote for Obaseki or Odubu is a vote to continuously make those in government comfortable at our expense. Monkey dey work, Bamboo they chop. Una non see say wahala full ground.

8.     Let me talk about our own local rabble rouser, the RICE MAN, Barr. Kenneth Imasuagbon. The opposition party in Edo State, the PDP, has cleverly zoned their governorship ticket to Edo South and everybody in that party are working towards that objective. Even popular politicians in PDP in Edo Central are working serious to reach that goal.  Ken Imasuagbon was there in PDP and did not know that there was a need for an Esan Agenda. He did not fight it there, he cowardly jump ship to APC after all elections has been concluded. Upon getting into our party he started making noise that it was Esan Agenda. My fear is that Ken who can be referred to as a nomadic politician because; he keeps jumping from one party to the other. He is posed to cause disaffection in APC and between the people of Edo Central and Edo South. Ken knows that since PDP governorship ticket is coming from Edo South, APC will be political foolish if they bring an Edo Central candidate because the votes in Edo South will go to PDP. I told you earlier that four years and eight years is not forever. The governorship will definitely come to Edo Central and an Edo Central person will rule Edo State for eight years. The Esan Agenda now should include searching for and grooming a viable person, build up his profile and be able to present a united front when the time comes. When Oshiomhole came in, 2016 was like eternity but today the time has come for him to exit. Finally, the delegates should know that RICEMAN is playing a spoiler role gimmicks. In fact it looks like his party, the PDP, sent him to come and destabilize the APC. He may be a mole in our midst.

9.     My dear delegates make una shine una eyes. Our MUMU Don Do. On that day at the Stadium show them say you don wise finish, collect their money, na our money anyway, collect it, chop am and vote Ogiemwonyi. Nothing dey happen. Ebo dey.  Oyibo no dey come. Vote Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi.


10.                         Thank you very much for the opportunity. I will request that you organize another workshop immediately  after the primaries so we can review how the votes went. Thank you!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Private Prisons Threaten To Sue States Unless They Get More Inmates For Free Labor

Private Prisons Threaten To Sue States Unless They Get More Inmates For Free Labor


private-prisons
Freedom is apparently bad for business. That’s the message from the private prison industry which is threatening to sue states if they don’t start locking more people up.
The private prison companies, well-known for profiting off of incarceration and crime, is now saying that the state’s they have contracted with aren’t keeping up their end of the bargain. The private prisons rely on a certain number of inmates for free and virtually-free slave labor.
That labor is used for a variety of trades, including making uniforms for popular restaurants like McDonalds and Applebee’s. But if the private prisons don’t have enough inmates locked up then production goes down correlative with the decrease in free labor (i.e. slavery).
It comes as a surprise to many Americans, but slavery was never actually abolished in the United States. That’s not a metaphor, it’s a matter of careful reading of the 13th amendment to the Constitution. That amendment – often lauded for abolishing slavery – actually makes an exception for prisons. Slavery is still completely legal as “punishment for a crime.”
USA Today explains the following:
Ratified at the end of the Civil War, the amendment abolished slavery, with one critical exception: Slavery and involuntary servitude actually remain lawful “as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” In other words, according to this so-called punishment clause, if you get pulled over with the wrong controlled substance in your trunk, there’s nothing in the 13th Amendment to ensure you can’t be considered a slave of the state.
The punishment clause was taken directly from the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and reflected the belief of the time that hard work was essential to prisoners’ moral rehabilitation. But the language was also ambiguous enough to be grossly abused. Soon, the clause was being used to reinstitute slavery under another guise.
Consider that there are more African Americans behind bars today than there were enslaved at any given time in American history and it becomes clear how corporations got their “work around” to keep slavery 100% legal. This is nothing new. This is the way it has been since slavery was supposedly abolished.
Now, the private prison industries say the government isn’t keeping up their end contracts for this slave labor.
Those government agencies signed contracts guaranteeing a minimum occupancy or quota of prisoner-slaves
California guarantees that prisons will be filled to 70% capacity at all times. Arizona promises almost 100% occupancy.
With crime dropping, the private prison industry is losing money and they are none too pleased.
In order to avoid these lawsuits, judges will have to dish out extra-long maximum sentences – not because the defendant deserves it, but because the state wants to keep these contracts in good standing with the private prison industry.
If you oppose slavery, then help us SPREAD THE WORD about this legal-loophole that has been keeping slavery in full effect since the 13th amendment was written.
(Article by M. David)
Sh

Judge Sentenced To 28 Years For Selling ‘Kids For Cash’ To Prisons

Judge Sentenced To 28 Years For Selling ‘Kids For Cash’ To Prisons


kids-for-cash-judge
A Pennsylvania judge  was just sentenced to 28 years in prison for selling “kids-for-cash.”
The bribery scandal made headlines when Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. was alleged to have taking $1 million in bribes from juvenile detention centers to fill their cells with children who came before him in court.
The Associated Press says the following:
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court tossed about 4,000 convictions issued by Ciavarella between 2003 and 2008, saying he violated the constitutional rights of the juveniles, including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea.
Ciavarella, 61, was tried and convicted of racketeering charges earlier this year. His attorneys had asked for a “reasonable” sentence in court papers, saying, in effect, that he’s already been punished enough.
“The media attention to this matter has exceeded coverage given to many and almost all capital murders, and despite protestation, he will forever be unjustly branded as the ‘Kids for Cash’ judge,” their sentencing memo said.
The Times Leader reports that the court house in Scranton was overflowing as over a dozen people who had been essentially “sold” to prisons by the judge turned out to exchange horror stories.
Jeff Pollins’ stepson was convicted by Ciavarella. He turned out to eagerly awaiting the judge’s sentencing.
“These kids are still affected by it. It’s like post traumatic stress disorder,” Pollins said to the Times Leader. “Our life is ruined. It’s never going to be the same… I’d like to see that happen to him,” he added.
Now that Ciaverella has been locked up, that solves one problem, but raises an important question that few are asking: was this an isolated incident, or are there more just like him who have made similar deals with prisons across the United States.
The fact that this sort of bribery would even be proposed to the judge suggests that this is a much broader problem, and this one incident was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
(Article by Reagan Ali)

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Tiny British Virgin Islands has big role in leaked documents

Tiny British Virgin Islands has big role in leaked documents

 
Updated 3:31 pm, Saturday, April 9, 2016
TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands (AP) — A thriving financial services industry that evolved over the last 30 years in the British Virgin Islands made it one of the most popular places in the world to form a corporation, turning a sleepy cluster of Caribbean islands into a global hub of finance.
Now the British Virgin Islands has come under scrutiny like never before thanks to the leak of confidential documents from a Panama-based law firm that specializes in offshore finance.
More than half the 200,000 offshore companies set up by the Mossack Fonseca law firm, including ones owned by the father of British Prime Minister David Cameron and relatives of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, were registered in the BVI, according to reports coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
BVI officials have sought in recent days to address the reports while defending financial oversight in a territory where incorporated entities outnumber residents by a ratio of more than 10-to-1 and blue-suited lawyers and bankers on the streets of Tortola often outnumber tourists.
"If you see articles that say jurisdictions like the BVI are facilitators of illegitimate activity, that is incorrect," Financial Secretary Neil Smith said Friday. "Yes, it occurs, but it also occurs in jurisdictions that are not seen as offshore financial centers."
The British Virgin Islands, an overseas British territory of about 30,000 people near Puerto Rico, is the world's leading center for company incorporation, according to the Tax Justice Network. More than 1 million enterprises have been incorporated since 1984. There were 450,000 active ones at the end of last year, according to the Financial Services Commission.
The problem, as critics of offshore financial secrecy see it, is that the BVI and other jurisdictions enable the hiding of the true owners of companies in ways that allow corruption and criminality to flourish. "We're not saying that shell companies or tax shelters need to be done away with, we're saying that more of this needs to be out in the open," said Mark Hays, a senior adviser with Global Witness.
The Tax Justice Network says the BVI has a "lax, flexible, ask-no-questions, see-no-evil company incorporation," system. "The BVI has long been linked to wave after wave of scandals," the organization said in a report that ranked the BVI at number 21 on its financial secrecy index. The U.S. was No. 3 and Switzerland No. 1.
But the Tax Justice Network also notes that the British Virgin Islands has made significant improvements.
An amendment to the territory's Business Companies Act that went into effect Jan. 1 requires companies to keep their beneficial ownership information within the BVI. There is also a new requirement for companies to file a list of their registered directors with the Financial Services Commission. The changes are expected to help curtail money laundering and other criminal activities.
Defenders of the offshore industry say that the BVI is no different than other places that offer anonymous corporate registries, including Delaware, but that some people would prefer to do business in an established, stable, low or no tax jurisdiction outside the United States. The BVI had traditionally attracted Asian and European clients, which may be one reason so few U.S. citizens have been named in the reports on the leaked documents.
Even people who have criticized the offshore industry in the past for weak regulation say there are legitimate reasons to set up a corporation or trust in a place like the BVI. Some businesses need offshore entities to run subsidiaries and people who live in dangerous places may have legitimate reasons to disguise their assets.
"The mere fact that a foreign national has an offshore account is not evidence of illegality," said David Marchant, the editor of the OffshoreAlert newsletter and conference, scheduled for Miami early next month. "It's certainly suspicious, but you need some kind of corroborating evidence."
Reports based on the leaked files have so far revealed assets held by trusts and companies registered overseas by a large number of foreign leaders and global celebrities.
No one at the Mossack Fonseca branch in the BVI would comment but a former administrator, Byron Hodge, said employees were instructed not to proceed with a registry without confirming the identity of the true owner of the entity being incorporated while he worked there from 2008-2015.
"The checks and balances to ensure this were enforced," he said. "With that being said, if there was any wrong doing that occurred, it wasn't in the (BVI) office."
The BVI government said in a statement after the first accounts began to emerge that it would conduct a "thorough investigation" to detect and prosecute any illegal activities.
Premier Orlando Smith said an investigation, which was being conducted by the Financial Services Commission, had already begun. It wasn't his only concern, though. He also wanted to make sure the revelations don't damage an industry that supplies more than 60 percent of his government's revenue, surpassing tourism as the most important industry for the BVI.
"We have to mount a robust response, and we have done that," Smith said. "More and more people are now coming out in support of the BVI."