Combating Money Laundering And Recovering Looted Gains
June 11th, 2009
June 11th, 2009
Anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency International UK, today publishes a new report that delves deep into the complex web of legal and regulatory armoury the UK employs to counter money laundering.
The report Combating Money Laundering and Recovering Looted Gains is both a review and a critique of the UK system which has been strengthened recently to meet the additional challenges of tackling the financing of terrorism. It reveals that despite recent improvements many flaws still exist – weakening the UK’s defences and allowing corrupt foreign politicians to find sanctuary for their ‘dirty money’ in the UK.
Once mingled with funds in a large financial centre like London, dirty money – whether the proceeds of looting by corruption, procurement bribery or other criminal activities – is easier to launder. The report therefore focuses on how robust the UK’s current defences are against money laundering, what should be done to strengthen them, and how – once those defences are breached – the UK should co-operate promptly to ensure looted funds are returned to the victim countries.
The team of experts who assisted in the preparation of the TI-UK report analysed the workings of the myriad laws, regulations, guidance, conventions and initiatives that make up the UK’s current defences, the interaction between the many organisations and institutions responsible for their implementation and enforcement, and their effect on real case studies.
The report reveals several serious weaknesses in the current system. For instance:
Key recommendations to close the gaps identified in the TI-UK report are particularly focused on ensuring that cash and assets misappropriated by corrupt foreign politicians don’t get washed clean here in the UK, and can be repatriated speedily to their rightful owners. They include:
On preventing money laundering
On more effective UK help for foreign countries in recovering stolen funds
Commenting on the report, Chandrashekhar Krishnan, Executive Director of TI-UK said:
‘It’s clear from this report that despite much recent effort to tighten up its defences against money laundering and combat the financing of terrorism, the UK cannot rest on its laurels.
‘The UK is the world’s largest financial centre and is therefore vulnerable to reputational damage from allowing dirty money to circulate. What’s more, giving looted foreign funds a safe haven in this country only attracts more to its shores. That’s why the UK’s defences against dirty money must be robust and – if those defences are breached – an energetic and proactive system should be in place for repatriating looted funds.
‘Failure to tackle the weaknesses identified in our report will let down the citizens of those countries where politicians are corrupt, by continuing to allow them to stash stolen assets in the UK.’
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