Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 5th 2013 Contents WASHINGTON DC---A federal court
in California has authorised the
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to
serve a "John Doe" summons seek-
ing information about US taxpayers
who may hold offshore accounts in
The Department of Justice has
identified the bank as the Canadian
Imperial Bank of Commerce First-
Caribbean International Bank (FCIB).
It said the order was signed by Senior
District Judge Thelton Henderson.
The Department of Justice said the
IRS summons seeks records of FCIB s
United States correspondent account
at the San Francisco-based bank,
Wells Fargo NA and that the summons
will allow the IRS to identify US tax-
payers who hold or held interests in
financial accounts at FCIB and other
financial institutions that used FCIB s
Wells Fargo correspondent account.
The Department of Justice said
that, based on a petition filed by the
government, the court granted the
IRS permission to serve what is known
as a "John Doe" summons on Wells
"The IRS uses "John Doe" sum-
monses to obtain information about
possible violations of internal revenue
laws by individuals whose identities
are unknown," the statement said.
According to the declaration of IRS
Revenue, agent Cheryl R Kiger filed
in support of the petition, FCIB is
based in Barbados and has
branches in 18 Caribbean
The declaration said
that although FCIB does
not have US branches, it
maintains a correspondent
account in the United
States at Wells Fargo Bank
In the declaration, Kiger
alleges the "IRS learned
that US taxpayers were
using FCIB to help them
keep their offshore
accounts undetected by
the IRS and not to pay US
federal income tax on
money placed in those
The Justice Department
said Kiger s declaration
describes her review of
the information submitted
by more than 120 FCIB
customers who partici-
pated in the IRS s Offshore
Voluntary Disclosure Pro-
According to the Kiger
declaration, many of the
FCIB customers in the
"John Doe" class "may
have been under-report-
ing income, evading
income taxes, or other-
wise violating the internal
revenue laws of the United
General for the Justice
Department s Tax Divi-
sion, Kathryn Keneally,
said the Department of
Justice and the IRS "are
committed to global
enforcement to stop the
use of foreign bank
accounts to evade US
"This "John Doe" sum-
mons is a visible indica-
tion of how we are using
the many tools available
to us to pursue this activ-
ity wherever it is occur-
ring. Those who are still
hiding should get right
with their country and
their fellow taxpayers
before it is too late."
IRS Acting Commis-
sioner, Steven T. Miller,
said the summons "marks
another milestone in
international tax enforce-
The Department of
Justice said the IRS cur-
rently has in place an Off-
shore Voluntary Disclosure
Programme in which US
taxpayers can come for-
ward and disclose their
offshore accounts and
May 5, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Addressing the Marriage Act Issue.
In the name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
Islam recognizes the family as the building block of society. Its aim is to preserve and protect it. When the family is broken down and exposed
to attacks, society suffers. This is what we are experiencing - domestic violence, rise in crime, single parents and violent behaviour in schools
are only a few symptoms. In order to reduce the problems caused we have to begin from the source - ie. The Family.
This article seeks to address the move to change the Muslim Marriage Act. It does not recommend any changes since our law is from the
Quran and that cannot be changed.
All religions are based on fundamental laws of morality and these will never change. If this happens at any time it is to our detriment and that
of society as stated above.
The recommendation of those who had it set at the minimum age of 12 for girls and 16 for boys was based on Quranic Law. We are grate-
ful to them for setting the standard stated in the Quran.
At this time the Act allows the marriage with the consent of the father/guardian/mother in that order of availability which is how it should be.
One should note that the Marriage Act of Trinidad and Tobago has no minimum age.
Islam recognizes the needs (physical, moral, spiritual, etc) of the human being as God Almighty created him. He sent us laws to guide us to
satisfying these needs in a proper manner that will not harm anyone and will lead to a fruitful, fulfilling life and lead to a life of peace with all
- human beings and all created things.
Chapter 4 verse 6 of the Holy Quran refers to 'the age of marriage'. This has been linked with the age of maturity of intellect. This will be
determined by the parents/guardian. It is known that physical maturity varies according to climatic conditions and today there are other fac-
tors as well.
In a Muslim marriage consent must be mutual. No woman can be married against her will. This is her right and it must be respected and hon-
ored. It is the final duty of parents to seek to marry their children, when they are mature, to those whom they consider to be upright Muslims.
The aim of marriage is to have sakina in one's life. This can be translated to mean contentment, peace, security, etc. It will lead to a stable,
Muslim parents do not seek to marry off their 'children' or force them to marry at 12. They must prepare their children to know that they have
to marry in order to live a full Muslim life. Young people know that they cannot date, play around, hangout, have affairs, engage in any kind
of illicit behaviour with the opposite sex. They must live a life of chastity before they marry and uphold the sanctity of marriage after.
They learn the primary responsibilities of each, the male - to protect and maintain the family, the female - to nurture and care for the hus-
band and children. Islam does not tolerate any violence against any human being except in times of war and even then there are very strict
guidelines as to what is allowed.
Regarding the current concerns that are being raised about the Act - the following questions should be asked:-
- How many marriages of girls 12 and 16 years old took place annually for the last 15 years?
- How many children were born to these girls?
- What is the status of these marriages - ie. Are they still married /divorced/separated?
- Is the existence of this law the cause of teenage pregnancies?
- Is it the cause of promiscuity, incest, rape?
- Would the raising of the marriageable age prevent single parents, promiscuity, lower the crime rate, HIV Aids, incest and
rape in our society?
- What would women gain from raising the age limit - more education, better family life, better health, more job opportunities, more
respect, less exploitation?
Education is a basic right of both sexes that is never stopped but continues until death. Muslims are commanded by the Prophet (peace be
upon him) - to seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave. An educated woman makes a more informed mother for her children. The first
school of the child is his mother's lap. She has the duty to teach her children from birth what is right and wrong, etc. since she is in constant
contact with them.
A woman's education does not stop with marriage. Education is not only academic. She is encouraged to elevate herself by acquiring what-
ever skills she may be inclined towards. If the parents or guardian deem it fit that their children are ready to marry and there is agreement
they should have the freedom to do so.
Instead of focusing on the Marriage Act more attention should be placed on promoting family life, teaching parenting with emphasis on
responsibility and respect for the marital home, parents, siblings, etc. These must be taught by example and not only by word of mouth, in
the home and not left for the school. All religious bodies must take responsibility to increase their role in this critical area. If this is done then
the results will be immediately apparent.
When vulgarity and lewdness are promoted on a daily basis what can be expected. When our own so-called role models are seen having
children without the respect and sanctity of marriage and are lauded in the media and society, how can we condemn others. Recently the
issue of increased promiscuity and the immoral lifestyle practiced in the Armed forces was raised.
Why should we have to deal with all those problems when Islam has the practical solutions - show young people the right way to deal with
One last question to all - How old was Mary (may God bless her) when she gave birth to Prophet Esa (Jesus) (peace be on him)?
CONTRIBUTED BY - A.S.J.A. LADIES SECTION
Caribbean bank accounts come under scrutiny of IRS
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