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Parliament moves to halt AML activities in Overseas Territories

Paul Hodgson | May 4, 2018

More than half of the companies exposed in the Panama and Paradise Papers were registered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). Last week, Transparency International and BBC’s Panorama programme published details of a Ukrainian crime gang that had purchased eight luxury properties in London using BVI companies. Transparency International has found at least £4.4 billion (U.S. $6 billion) worth of property in the United Kingdom bought with laundered money—half of it using companies based in just the BVI alone. 

Now, it appears the party will be coming to an end. 

The U.K. parliament on 2 May accepted a cross-party amendment to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill that will force Britain’s 14 Overseas Territories (including the BVI) to set up public registers of beneficial ownership. The amendment states that the U.K.’s Secretary of State must, no later than 31 December 2020, prepare a draft Order in Council any Crown Territory that has not introduced such a...

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