Tag Archives: art

Related Reading: Fort Knox-Styled Armitage Vaults Opens In Central London

I just learned of a high-security self-storage facility that has opened in central London, England. The Armitage Secure Storage, or Armitage Vaults as the British media is calling it, bills itself as “London’s First Prime Self Storage Facility” and offers “high quality storage units in the centre of London.” Adrian Hearn reported on the Daily Mirror (UK) website Monday:

Britain’s super-rich are being offered a place to hide their most valuable items – in a Fort Knox style, bombproof bunker created in a former library basement.

The 10,000 sq/ft underground facility, which cost £30million to build, is situated up to 40ft below ground and has one-metre thick ferrous-concrete walls.

It has been designed to be virtually bombproof, fire-resistant, watertight and is aimed at people who need a secure facility following the Hatton Garden heist…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Hearn added later in the article:

Bosses at Amazon Property have billed Armitage Vaults as the London’s answer to Fort Knox, claiming there is nothing else on this level in the capital.

Charles Gourgey, chief executive of Amazon Property, said: “We were inspired by the famous Fort Knox vault in Kentucky and there is nothing else like it in central London

Chris Lanitis, Director of Amazon Property adds: “The private clients occasionally bring friends or family to view the artwork and valuables being stored, whilst the corporate clients include private medical outlets and hospitals storing sensitive documents and equipment.

“There are also luxury retailers storing stock.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The Armitage Vaults website reveals the following about the operation:

Accessed from Bolsover Street, the facility provides convenient loading and unloading, allowing secure access from the street to the underground facility.

All units include the following:

-Secure loading access from the street to the underground facility
-On-site dedicated management team & security concierge
-Security reception is manned to ensure easy access and the highest levels of security
-24-hour CCTV
-Video-entry system
-Unit access via unique pin code
-Wide access units and high-end goods lift
-Climate controlled

The 135 steel-lined units for rent range from 6 square feet (“Designed for golf clubs, skis, or those sentimental possessions you need to keep safe”/£15 per week excluding VAT) to 100 sqaure feet (“Single garage size”/£140 per week excluding VAT), according to Armitage’s website.

Safe deposit boxes are not offered as far as I can tell.

Congratulations to Armitage Vaults on their launch. Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes wishes them all the best with their new secured self-storage facility. For more information about Armitage Vaults, head on over to their website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes (www.offshoresafedepositboxes.com)

(Editor’s note: The mention of entities marketing themselves as secured storage facilities outside the U.S. should not be construed as confirmation of services claimed to be provided or any sort of recommendation. A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)


Hearn, Adrian. “Fort Knox style bombproof bunker offers mega-rich Brits a secure place to hide valuables after Hatton Garden heist.” Daily Mirror. 23 Jan. 2017. (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/fort-knox-style-bombproof-bunker-9676467). 23 Jan. 2017.


Ecuador President Announces One-Time Tax On Millionaires, Workers After Earthquake

From an Associated Press article on the Fox News Latino website Thursday:

President Rafael Correa announced Wednesday night that he is raising sales taxes and will charge a one-time levy on millionaires to rebuild cities devastated by Ecuador’s worst earthquake in decades…

Using authority granted by the state of emergency he declared after Saturday night’s quake, Correa said sales taxes would increase to 14 percent from 12 percent for the coming year.

People with more than $1 million in assets will be charged a one-time tax of 0.9 percent on their wealth, while workers earning over $1,000 a month will be forced to contribute a day’s wages and those earning $5,000 a month the equivalent of five days’ pay.

Taxes on companies will also go up…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

A “just” tax in the aftermath of a natural disaster? Wealth confiscation for a “just cause”? Just plain wealth confiscation?

Spanish international news agency Agencia EFE reported on the Fox News Latino site back on March 20 the Ecuadorian government was already seeking to hike taxes prior to the quake. From that piece:

Ecuador’s government is working on a reform package that will raise the taxes on cigarettes, alcoholic beverages and soft drinks to cover the budget deficit created by the drop in the price of oil, the Andean nation’s top export product, President Rafael Correa said.

“The price of petroleum keeps dropping” and the government must make “certain adjustments,” Correa said during his weekly show on Saturday…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Sin tax” hikes. Sounds like what’s routinely proposed/passed in my neck of the woods (Chicago).

If Ecuador follows through with this tax on millionaires and workers, some will be wondering if other governments won’t be following its implementation closely to serve as a model for a future “state of emergency” of their own.

Like a sovereign debt crisis, for example.

At the same time, I wonder what this could mean for bank safe deposit boxes (I don’t know of any private, non-bank safe deposit box facilities in Ecuador)? Will Ecuadorian government officials inspect secured containers belonging to suspected millionaires/millionaires suspected of under-reporting the value of their assets, in an attempt to ensure compliance with the announced tax levy?

Would box holders find themselves in a situation similar to what was announced in Greece last fall?

I blogged back on November 6, 2015:

Just when the reputation of bank safe deposit boxes couldn’t get any worse comes this out of Greece. Anthee Carasavva reported on The Times (UK) website back on October 12:

Greece’s government is raiding savers’ safe deposit boxes to raise revenue and stamp out tax evasion.

Tryfon Alexiadis, the deputy finance minister, said yesterday that Greeks owing more than €150,000 in back taxes would be targeted. Those suspected of tax evasion would also come under scrutiny and their bank deposit boxes prised open without notice

“Safe deposit boxes across the country will be subject to these inspections immediately,” Mr Alexiadis told an Athens-based TV network…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I added later:

Regarding that bit about tax evasion suspects, Mark Yaxley of Cayman Islands private vault Strategic Wealth Preservation penned back on October 20:

The government’s justification is that they’re chasing tax evaders, stating that they’re targeting those who owe more than €150,000 in back taxes. However, they have also revealed that they will target any boxes held by those who are “suspected” of tax evasion and, since literally anyone can become a suspect at any moment, without having to be charged with a crime, inspectors will have the authorisation to decide on the spot that a box holder is “suspected” of tax evasion

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

It was reported Greek tax inspectors would be allowed to open bank safe deposit boxes and confiscate as much as half of the cash they found. Stocks, bonds, jewelry, and works of art would be confiscated in their entirety.

Stay tuned…

By Christopher E. Hill
Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes (www.offshoresafedepositboxes.com)


“Ecuador to hike sales tax to help rebuild cities devastated by earthquake.” Associated Press. 21 Apr. 2016. (http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2016/04/21/ecuador-to-hike-sales-tax-to-help-rebuild-cities-devastated-by-earthquake/?intcmp=obinsite). 21 Apr. 2016.

“Ecuador plans to hike taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and soft drinks.” Agencia EFE. 20 Mar. 2016. (http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2016/03/20/ecuador-plans-to-hike-taxes-on-cigarettes-alcohol-and-soft-drinks/). 21 Apr. 2016.