Larco’s owners, the Lalji family, are multinational property owners, with a large mixed portfolio of UK based hotels and a self-storage company, Access Self Storage, the UK’s third largest self-storage operator.
UK company filings for Access Self Storage indicate that the company is owned by Oakdene Finance Limited, a company registered in the British Virgin Islands. (It is worth noting that the filing turns up another offshore firm, Access Storage Holidngs S.a.r.l., registered in Luxembourg – a favorite corporate tax haven.) Oakdene is also the parent of Precis Investments Ltd., another entity tied to the family’s UK-based real estate holdings.
Shiraz Lalji is a director of Access Self Storage. Larco Investments is affiliated with Precis Management Service Limited in the UK.
Oakdene Finance Limited turns up in the Panama Papers database released in 2016 by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The leaked data shows that Mossack Fonseca was an agent for Oakdene between 2004 and 2007. Mossack Fonseca was a Panamanian law firm which was once the world’s 4th largest provider of offshore services. It closed in 2018.
While we know little else about Oakdene Finance Limited, the database indicates that the firm is named as an officer and shareholder to three separate (and possibly unrelated) entities. One of these entities is The Alamut Foundation. Data from the Panama Papers links The Alamut Foundation to a St. Helier, Jersey-based address – the address of RBC Investment Solutions Ltd (Jersey). RBC has been under fire since the Panama Papers revealed that the bank allegedly registered 378 shell companies through Mossack Fonseca.
The Alamut Foundation, based in Liechtenstein, is reportedly the ultimate owner of Access Self Storage.
This structure is reminiscent of that used by the family to hold assets of the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa and Rampart Casino.
Interestingly, the firm acting as an intermediary for The Alamut Foundation is First Names Trust Company (Jersey) Limited, based in Jersey. Data from the Panama Papers reveals that First Names Trust has ties to over 130 different offshore entities with some connection to Mossack Fonseca. First Names is a leading provider of trust services and well versed in creating offshore structures for their clients.
Other named officers or intermediaries connected to the Lalji family’s offshore vehicles can be found in the Panama Papers database. They include W.S.W. Secretaries Limited (the predecessor to First Names Secretaries), Consilia Management, based in Liechtenstein, and Seymour Trust Company, based in Jersey.
Can the owners of Larco Investments, a government partner, explain their family’s connection to the Panama Papers? Will they publicly disclose the extent to which their businesses are tied to tax havens?