British phantom companies are involved in scandalous money-laundering operations totaling nearly 80 billion GBP(105 billion USD), according to the non-governmental organization Transparency International. According to experts in the UK, there is a whole network of companies working in the same way, as the companies that are at the heart of the Paradise Papers and Panama Papers.
Britain have 766 companies involved in money laundering directly from at least 13 countries
“The UK is home to industrious company factories from which unscrupulous individuals provide the corrupt with the means to hide their ill-gotten gains. The UK should recognise it has its own Applebys and Mossack Fonsecas here on our doorstep”, said the Transparency International Director, Duncan Hames. “While all the jurisdictions like Panama and Bermuda are shameful for the United Kingdom, the companies are being created under our noses for the sole purpose of laundering illegal money. Money, which is often stolen by some of the poorest nations in the world, depriving them of vital resources”, added he.
Regarding the effectiveness of British financial regulations, the organization found that “there are virtually no barriers to preventing British companies from engaging in money laundering”.
The group argues it is “no accident” that the UK is used, noting it is home to a “network” of Trust and Companies Service Providers (TCSPs), which register firms to UK addresses, often nothing more than mailboxes. The report claims that the UK’s defence against illegal activity is “woefully inadequate”: just six staff in Companies House are charged with policing four million companies. Meanwhile, TCSPs filed just 77 of 400,000 suspicious activity reports, designed to flag possible money laundering, last year.