Free ports are places with the ultra-rich store their art antiquities to avoid tax and duties

Originally published at:


The Blacklist is real!

(just watched the episode where international criminals store all their money on a plane loaded with servers that just flies around the world, so technically it is not under the jurisdiction of any country)


TENET is real!

Well, at least the part with free ports storing rich people’s stuff.


Yeah, came for this; for the curious, below is the free port scene:



I remember reading something about this, maybe here on BB. But ultimately it’s not about the object but purely about money, art and valuable antiques are basically an easy way for the wealthy to essentially launder money or move said money around in a difficult to track way without having to resort to illegal methods.


All methods are legal methods when you write the law.


I can’t imagine being so close to the salt air is good for the art :confused: I mean hopefully they have a room in the boat that is sealed and kept at the proper humidity etc, but still.

They’re not on boats. Freeports are so sketchy that they exist in a liminal space immune to geography. There are freeports in the downtown cores of every major city. There’s a semi-famous one in Brooklyn. The word “port” is a historical curiosity suffix here and nothing more. They are just secret warehouses for rich people above the law.


Freeports in the United States

The US has 293 freeports, which are referred to as free trade zones or foreign trade zones (FTZ). In these zones manufacturing and production accounts for 70% of free trade activity, while warehousing and distribution makes up the remaining 30%.

Yep. Us regular people are saps.


Capitalism is so fundamentally broken that it will take an object that exists for the sole purpose of being seen and appreciated by human beings and create a financial motive for ensuring said object will never be seen or appreciated again.

In a way this is even worse than those rich assholes who acquire great works of art just so they can show it all off to their friends and family. Better that it be appreciated by someone than no one at all.


Ah, ok. Though I know I’ve heard of some mega yachts storing art and wealth on them as well.

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The spelling’s changed, y’see.

Reminds me of:


As with all things Web3, NFTs are the newbie sucker’s replacement for laundering money and evading taxes. The real players in those games have been using free ports for decades, and for anyone who thinks they can too a reminder from George Carlin:


There are at least a few mega yacht owners who famously have super-expensive paintings onboard, at least in part for the same reason, but it’s a different (and much rarer) phenomenon. And yeah, a boat is a bad place for paintings, in terms of the conditions.


There are some suspicions that the World’s most expensive painting, Salvator Mundi is stored on a yacht belonging Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The painting, which may or may not have been painted by Leonardo da Vinci, vanished after being auctioned for $450 million and no museum or gallery has it.


Freeports are also an opportunity to screw those employed in them

Rishi’s pet project


Private Eye has been following Houchen’s project for a while now - almost every issue there is some more evidence that the Teesside free port is siphoning millions of Pounds in public money into the hands of a few people - who just happen to be not only friends of Houchen, but Conservatives…

Just the latest here:

Sadfly the main press doesn’t seem to be willing to follow up what appears to be naked corruption in a part of the country that desperately needs investment.


I have been following the story of corruption in Private Eye, but they rarely (if ever) mention the presumed position for the workers or the number of jobs that are calculated using questionable methods.


I imagine that those “buy art to diversify your portfolio” schemes that sometimes even sponsor youtube ads involve freeports.