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Police not informed over data breach

Police have yet to be called in over a data breach at Bermudian-based international law firm Appleby.

A police spokesman confirmed yesterday that the service had not received a complaint about a cyberattack at the firm.

The spokesman said: “Following recent local media reports the Bermuda Police Service is aware of this matter, which apparently happened a year ago, but has not received any criminal complaint to date.”

The statement came after Appleby admitted on Tuesday that a “data-security incident” last year involved company data being “compromised”.

Appleby did not respond to questions from The Royal Gazette yesterday.

A spokeswoman referred to the statement posted on its website on Tuesday.

She added: “We have no further comment to make.”

The leak is believed to have happened in May 2016.

It is understood that information obtained from the hacking was later passed to international news organisations and that stories involving the leak are expected to be published in the near future.

Appleby, which has offices on Victoria Street, confirmed on Tuesday it had been contacted by “a number of media organisations”, including the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The firm said the inquiries related to documents journalists claimed to have seen that involved “allegations made against our business and the business conducted by some of our clients”.

Appleby added: “Appleby has thoroughly and vigorously investigated the allegations and we are satisfied that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing, either on the part of ourselves or our clients.

“We refute any allegations which may suggest otherwise.”

The ICIJ did not respond to questions about its investigations by press time.

British newspaper The Daily Telegraph said the leak involved some of Britain's wealthiest people.

Appleby's website said the firm advised “global public and private companies, financial institutions, and high net worth individuals, working with them and their advisers to achieve practical solutions, whether in a single location or across multiple jurisdictions”.

The law firm employs around 470 people, including 60 partners, in ten offices.

Bases include the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands and Guernsey.

David Burt, the Premier and Minister of Finance, has yet to speak on the leaks.

But in a statement this morning, Government said: “The Government of Bermuda notes reports concerning aspects of the operations of Appleby Global, in various jurisdictions including Bermuda.

“Bermuda is a recognised leader in international tax compliance and tax transparency. In keeping with our international obligations, relevant authorities in Bermuda will review any new matters raised.”

The 2015 release of confidential information from a law firm in Panama — dubbed the Panama Papers — caused huge controversy and put offshore jurisdictions and their business practices in the spotlight.

Around 150 Bermuda entities were named in the massive leak, made up of 11.5 million records dating back to the 1970s, from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca.

Appleby was among those named in the documents, as were Codan Trust, part of law firm Conyers Dill and Pearman, HSBC and its predecessor the Bank of Bermuda, and LOM Nominees Ltd.

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Published October 26, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated October 26, 2017 at 10:01 am)

Police not informed over data breach

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