Anonymous companies: A Global Witness briefing

May 20th, 2013

Money launderers, corrupt politicians, terrorists, arms traffickers, drug smugglers, and tax evaders all rely on two things to move their dirty money: company structures that allow them to hide their identity, and banks and other professionals willing to do business with them. Both are all-too available.

This Global Witness briefing explains the problem of hidden company ownership, the ease with which the corrupt can set up anonymous companies and trusts, and how this is a major barrier in the fight against poverty. With this issue quickly rising up the political agenda, this briefing also explains what can be done to combat this problem.

Also read Global Witness’s press release welcoming the Africa Progress Panel’s report calling on the G8 and the G20 to establish common rules requiring full public disclosure of the beneficial ownership of companies, with no exceptions.

For more information about the problem of hidden company ownership, and to download the Global Witness Idiot’s Guide to Money Laundering, visit our Hidden Company Ownership page.

Requiring beneficial ownersip information to be put in the public domain is cheap: Global Witness commissioned a cost-benefit analysis of making beneficial ownership information public. This can be read here.

Written by Global Witness

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