Today the US Department of Justice brought charges against Paul Manafort for money laundering, tax and foreign lobbying offences.
The charges against him include the alleged laundering of millions of dollars through secretive offshore companies to buy properties in the United States.
Eleanor Nichol, Deputy Director of Corruption Campaigns at Global Witness said:
“Today’s charges against Manafort are a clarion call to the UK government to come good on its pledge to tackle dirty money in the UK property market, which is still wide open to the risks of these schemes.”
“Two years ago the UK government committed to reveal the true owners of offshore companies owning property here. Two years is too long: we need this transparency now to stop UK property being used as a home for dirty money.”
At least £122bn worth of property in England and Wales is owned by companies registered offshore, and 75% of properties whose owners are under investigation for corruption made use of this kind of secrecy.
You might also like
Governments, Corruption & Money LaunderingBlog post
How to stop dirty money coming into London properties
Happily the UK has woken up to the use of its property market as a go-to destination to give a fresh start to questionable funds. But to be truly game-changing, the next government will need to be more ambitious.
Anonymous Companies, Corruption & Money LaunderingReport
Mystery on Baker Street
Brutal Kazakh official linked to £147m London property empire.
Corruption & Money LaunderingCampaign
No Safe Haven
The ability to hide and spend corrupt funds overseas is a large part of what makes grand scale corruption possible and attractive.