In reaction to the news that the UK government is delaying the introduction of public beneficial ownership registers for major tax havens, Naomi Hirst, Senior Anti-Corruption Campaigner at Global Witness said:
"The Committee has hit the nail on the head. The British Overseas Territories are a crucial part of the global money laundering landscape that we know harms us all. We can’t wait for an international agreement to see these urgent measures through.
And to ensure we’re not helping the criminal and corrupt, we must apply the same rules to the Crown Dependencies. These jurisdictions have so far proved resistant to meeting the UK’s standards on being open about who really owns their companies.”
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BriefingIn 2016, the UK became one of the first countries to create a public register of the beneficial owners of companies. The UK register has demonstrated the feasibility of public registers and set new standards in publishing the data as open data.
Criminals and fraudsters need three things to move large sums of money: a bank willing to take the money; a lawyer or other facilitator to set up the laundering scheme; and some way of disguising who really owns the assets.
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