Let’s have some fun today.
Imagine you’re being pursued by government agents, angry creditors, a vindictive ex-spouse, or a hitman with a bounty on your head. You need to find somewhere to hide out under the radar until things blow over… or possibly forever.
Where would you go?
Of course, I’m not advocating that you flee the law. But think about: if the government upped their tyranny and starting criminalizing human rights, or you owed a violent casino boss millions, where would you escape to?
The other night, I watched an ABC News piece about infomercial king Kevin Trudeau. Whether you like Kevin or not, it’s pretty crazy what the US government is doing to him – a $37.6 million fine for publishing a book about an allegedly “easy” weight loss system. The government gets to use its own court system with its own paid stooges and a bunch of corrupt agencies dedicated to “consumer welfare” that have yet to stop people from dying from bad drugs or getting scammed. And they don’t exactly like the fact that Kevin Trudeau loves to stick his finger in their eye rather than just play along the with charade.
The news clip showed ABC News reporter Bill Weir tracking down Trudeau in his new home in Switzerland. As indignant as Weir tried to be, it was hard to believe he actually found Trudeau’s open secret of living abroad to be so foul. As much as you and I find the liberties in The Land of the Free to be lacking, imagine if they hit you with a $37.6 million fine.
The interesting thing is that Switzerland has an extradition treaty with the United States. Now, Trudeau is not a fugitive, but with some facocta criminal charges pending, you never know when the US government might want to make some cocky show of force and play the “we didn’t think you were coming back” card.
Just look at Julian Assange. Or as The Land of the Free knows him, Public Enemy Number 1.
The general impression is that anyone wanting to hide out in a non-extradition country has to go to some hellhole in the ends of the earth. That’s not true.
I’ve always wondered why people who fled the law ended up somewhere like Spain. Do they think some go-along-to-get-along European country is going to protect them? If you’re not a Spanish citizen, you might as well have just stayed at home. Governments – especially Uncle Sam – are notorious for trumping up charges that will make most western governments give you up in two seconds flat.
It’s not like no one would think to look for you in a tourist hangout, anyway. Ha ha.
While Brunei is no constitutionalist’s picnic, it’s one of the wealthiest countries to have no extradition treaty with the US. The Sultan doesn’t want anyone meddling in his affairs. If you played it cool there and didn’t start dry humping your new girlfriend in public, you’d probably be pretty cool.
Other wealthy countries with no such treaty include the wealthy Gulf states of Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates don’t have one either, although their governments have made it clear they want nothing to do with being a safe haven for “criminals”. This despite Dubai playing home to the deposed prime minister of Thailand. I doubt you’d be welcomed with open arms into the local cultures of these places, but living in a country with more air-conditioned shopping malls and Rolls Royces than any other doesn’t sound like a terrible punishment.
Go further into Asia and you’ll find any number of places that don’t play ball with the US government. I rarely hear anyone mention China when talking about such countries, yet it’s hardly surprising that their government doesn’t want to be told what to do. I think you could find a place suitable for you in a country the size of the US. There are some fantastic places there, from ultra-luxury to backpacker chic.
Meanwhile, Vietnam, Cambodia, and rapidly-growing Mongola aren’t on the list either. I’d argue any of those countries could improve your business success by living there – whether you were hiding out or not.
Love the beach? Maldives, Vanuatu, and Tunisia are all non-extradition countries. So is Indonesia, where the economy has grown so fast a real estate bubble is developing at warp speed. Of course, Indonesia is home to Bali, as well.
In Africa, Ethiopia and Botswana, two of the continent’s star economies, don’t have many extradition treaties. Jordan and Lebanon don’t either (just don’t use your Israeli second passport to seek entry).
Of course, there are true hideouts you wouldn’t want to hide out in. Beyond just having no extradition treaty, they are the places with no diplomatic relations with your home country. I don’t think Mogadishu would suit too many peoples’ taste… even this time of year. Or what about North Korea… anyone?
I could argue most parts of Iran aren’t as bad as western propaganda want you to think they are, but I still doubt it would have many takers. If you’re an American, Cuba and the isolated Asian nation of Bhutan (home to all of zero traffic lights) are the only non-war zones on that list.
Venezuela, another place many Americans would expect to be shot immediately upon walking out of the airport, does have one of the original extradition treaties with the United States. However, Hugo Chavez rarely complied. I doubt the new government would, either. To guys like this, laws are meant to be interpreted at their whimsical discretion. (Kind of like in the United States).
But maybe such a place is the perfect place to hide out. After all, your reading this site indicates you’re a bit of a contrarian and don’t buy into all the BS about everyone getting shot the minute they step out of the United States. In an era of government over-cooperation that has led to crack downs on some pretty stupid “crimes”, it’s nice to see not everyone is willing to play ball with the global statist mindset.
Perhaps we should let the stereotypes continue.
For those seeking another citizenship, some countries simply don’t extradite their citizens no matter what. Brazil is on that list, as is Venezuela. (Just don’t buy into the “quick” way to become a Venezuela citizen, which costs thousands and ends up with you in a holding cell.)
If you’re waiting for a knock on the door from Terry Benedict’s guys – or the gestapo – there are global hide-outs where you could live out your days, and judging by the looks of some of these places, things could be worse.
Now, go out and fly right. I don’t want anyone knocking on MY door looking for one of you.