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UK to introduce Public Register for Foreign Owners

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"Big Ben" in London, Britain (Xinhua/Tim Ireland)(rh)

Britain announces public register against money laundering.¬†Over 75 per cent of the properties currently under investigation have been suspected of being used off-shore corporate secrecy, a tactic regularly seen by investigators pursuing high-level money laundering….reports Asian Lite News

“Big Ben” in London, Britain (Xinhua/Tim Ireland)(rh)

Britain has announced the world’s first public register that requires overseas companies that own or buy property in the country to provide details of their ultimate owners.

The government is set to publish relevant draft laws and the register will go live by early 2021.

“This world-first register will build on our reputation for corporate transparency as well as help create a hostile environment for economic crimes like money laundering,” said British Business Secretary Greg Clark.

The register is the government’s move to crack down on criminals who launder money through the British property market.

A spokesperson of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on Thursday said properties in Britain worth $250 million has been under criminal investigation for being linked to corruption since 2004.

Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Over 75 per cent of the properties currently under investigation have been suspected of being used off-shore corporate secrecy, a tactic regularly seen by investigators pursuing high-level money laundering, added the spokesperson.

This will help reduce opportunities for criminals, who try to use shell companies to buy properties in London and elsewhere to launder illicit proceeds.

“We are committed to protecting the integrity and reputation of our property market to ensure the UK is seen as an attractive business environment — a key part of our Industrial Strategy,” Clark added.