Corrupt Cameron says ‘Dirty money not welcome in Britain’. Stop laughing, I’m not making this up

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Caption: www.davidicke.com

 

White-collar criminals who launder billions by buying luxury UK properties must be tackled, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday. Experts warn these fraudsters are distorting the UK property market and pushing up house prices in the process.

Cameron’s criticism of money laundering formed part of a speech on financial secrecy in Singapore.

He expressed deep concern that luxury properties, primarily in London, are being purchased by foreigners through opaque shell companies to launder dirty money.

While tax evasion and corruption are likely to be the most common sources of ill-gotten gains in Britain, drug dealing, human trafficking and black-marketeering in the face of sanctions are also potential origins.

Cameron said offshore firms own a £122 billion share of the UK’s property market, and many of these “high value” properties are bought through secretive holding companies nestled in tax havens.

“I want Britain to be the most open country in the world for investment. But I want to ensure that all this money is clean money,” Cameron said.

“There is no place for dirty money in Britain. Indeed, there should be no place for dirty money anywhere.”

Money laundering haven

In March, it emerged Scotland Yard suspected criminals, tax evaders, human traffickers and drug dealers of having laundered billions of pounds worth of dirty money by purchasing British properties through anonymous offshore companies.

The sheer scale of the problem was uncovered in a report produced by anti-corruption think tank Transparency International (TI) UK. Titled ‘Corruption on Your Doorstep,’ the study warned the UK had become “a safe haven for corrupt capital stolen from around the world.”

The Metropolitan Police said at the time more than £180 million (US$276 million) worth of British property had been subject to criminal investigation since 2004 as potential proceeds from corruption. Detectives added this figure was merely the tip of the iceberg.

Among the foreign fraudsters who have bought multiple luxury properties in London, is a convicted Nigerian ex-governor and white collar criminal.

Reflecting on this case, Cameron insisted the UK must not become “a safe haven” for dirty money plundered from impoverished people.

In London, roughly 36,342 properties have been purchased through clandestine front companies in offshore tax havens.

Favored locations include the British Virgin Islands, the Isle of Man and Jersey.

Britain’s wealthiest borough, Westminster, has the highest proportion of properties held offshore (almost 10 percent), while Kensington and Chelsea follows closely (7.3 percent).

Although many of these sales remain secret for privacy purposes, a large proportion are thought to have been purchased to stash ill-gotten gains.

Director of the National Crime Agency’s Economic Crime Command unit Donald Toon warns foreign criminals are distorting Britain’s property market.

“Prices of high-end property are being artificially driven up by the desire of overseas criminals to sequester their assets here in the UK,” he said.

“If they [estate agents] have a suspicion that there may be money laundering involved then they absolutely should be submitting a suspicious activity report. You are at risk of committing a criminal offence if you do not do that.”

‘Corruption is an enemy of progress’

On Tuesday, Cameron pledged to bring in new measures to fight money laundering in Britain and cultivate greater transparency. He announced plans to introduce a central public land registry of offshore firms that will lay out what land they own.

Although it is currently possible to discern the names of UK individuals who own property deeds by submitting an application, the updated land registry will make this process easier, offer more detail and cover offshore firms.

The government will also consult experts on whether to diversify the register to include both the true owners of UK firms and the owners of offshore companies with government contracts.

Such a move would tackle financial secrecy and make it easier for UK regulators, MPs and transparency campaigners to decipher the owners of properties used to clean dirty money.

Cameron warned corruption is “an enemy of progress,” and called for British and global authorities to “step up and tackle it.”

He announced plans to hold an anti-corruption summit in London in 2016 in a bid to fight corruption at the heart of British institutions. He also vowed to maximize the government’s use of international aid to improve global governance and fight corruption abroad.

TI UK welcomed Cameron’s commitments on Tuesday.

It called for greater transparency with respect to offshore ownership of UK properties, and urged the government to force foreign property owners to adhere to the same transparency standards as British firms.

TI UK’s Head of Advocacy and Research Nick Maxwell backed Cameron’s proposals.

“An end to secret offshore company in ownership of UK property and in UK procurement can help shift the UK from being a safe-haven for illicit wealth to a place where dirty money is not welcome,” he said.

Maxwell warned, however, the way in which this policy shift is implemented is key.

“The UK is leading by example, but many loopholes still exist for the corrupt to launder money in other markets,” he said.

“Transparency should be the new norm of international business. It is also important that the UK addresses domestic corruption risks, including cleaning up politics and ensuring the UK’s anti-bribery legislation is not watered down.”

Cameron’s proposals to clamp down on money laundering were sharply criticized by some commentators on Tuesday.

Tax and property experts said publishing details of legal property owners will do little to catch white-collar criminals.

Henry Pryor, a buying agent for the luxury end of Britain’s property market, said the government’s promised transparency in property ownership wouldn’t stop fraudsters from hiding their assets.

“If criminals can get access to these assets – and trade them overseas – it makes it very difficult for the authorities to understand exactly where the ownership really lies. That remains the problem,” he told the BBC.

“There is a ridiculous presumption that criminals follow the rules,” offshore tax expert Mark Davies added.

“If Mr Big wants to hide laundered money and he wants this to remain hidden, he will simply have someone else named as the owner of the property.”

Via RT. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license.

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9 Responses to “Corrupt Cameron says ‘Dirty money not welcome in Britain’. Stop laughing, I’m not making this up”

  1. Barrie J says:

    Dirty Money?
    Both Cameron’s and his wife’s family benefitted enormously from money paid as compensation given in recompense due to the abolition of slavery.
    The British Empire and our industrial heritage, much of it funded with ‘dirty money’.

  2. madamski says:

    You should take a look at the Ancient MOLMUTINE LAWS of the British Isles written around 400 BC….These RIGHTS ARE UNALIENABLE.
    http://www.self-realisation.com/video/the-fraud-of-english-history-and-the-rise-of-uct/
    There ARE 3 TESTS of Civil Liberty—Equality of Rights—-Equality of TAXATION—-Freedom to Come and Go

  3. sovereigntea says:

    HSBC the opium bank — Cameron’s grandfather.

    Another skeleton from Cameron’s cupboard is recorded in Hansard.

    David Cameron vows to fight against ‘dirty money’ — people in glass houses.

    £17.8 Million into the “EMPTY” Tory accounts to fight the 1992
    General Election.

    The full details of this Fraud and Nuclear Weapon Scandal uncovered by senior Labour Lords and Party officials, the confrontation of the findings recorded in Parliamentary Q & A
    HANSARD JUNE 22 1993 from Col 197
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199293/cmhansrd/1993-06-22/Debate-4.html

    Mr. Hoyle : If the hon. Gentleman will allow me, I shall tell him what information is now given to us. We understand the expenditure and what Tory central office receives. In 1992, central office received £20.7 million. When we asked about that and about company donations, the Tory party told us to look at company accounts. I repeat : in 1992, the Tories received £20.7 million. When the records were checked by Companies house, only £2.9 million was shown in company accounts. That means that there is a deficit of £17.8 million. We want to know where that £17.8 million came from.

    missing txt
    Mr. Hoyle : I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that intervention. Perhaps only two people know where the funding came from. One is Lord McAlpine, whom the unfortunate President of the Board of Trade apparently saw on his visit to Venice. I join the Secretary of State for Employment in hoping that the right hon. Gentleman has a speedy and full recovery and is soon back in the House. However, the President of the Board of Trade visited Lord McAlpine, and Lord McAlpine is one of the men who knows.

    Ken Warren ?

    And then there is Dirty Tony — Come Tony Tell Me Do You Know 22 Arlington Street/ Lonhro First Floor 25 Berekely Square London?

    • Nollidge says:

      According to the late ( murdered) Christopher Story,Blair got 100,000,000 dollars put into a bank in Belize as reward for dragging this country into the Iraq war.

  4. Jennifer says:

    HSBC, opium trade? How dirty does the family money feel that’s put you where you are Dave?

    • sovereigntea says:

      It is unlikely that Cameron would have an aversion to dirty money probably a case of the filthier the better. “Dirty Dave” moved in similar social circles to top tory nonce PM Ted Heath a coprophiliac.. known as Mr Eddy in the local childrens homes.

      noun: coprophilia

      abnormal interest and pleasure in faeces and defecation.

  5. sovereigntea says:

    #GETCAMERON

    One I prepared earlier – Inside the closet @ No 10

    “The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.”
    ― Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

    Rattling David Cameron’s Skeletons

    King Alfred – Live To Win

    http://www.sovereignindependentuk.co.uk/2014/03/07/rattling-david-camerons-skeletons/

  6. Nollidge says:

    Cameron can do sweet FA about “dirty money”. It’s all passed through the City of London,a completely independent city-state which has been effectively a foreign country owing no allegiance to the rest of Britain since the autumn of 1066.It is said to control the world’s money,& nothing financial happens anywhere unless the City O.K.’s it.When the Chancellor puts his budget to Parliament,every line must first be approved by the City.Go his own way & the City will “deal with him”. The interests of the City come a long way before the British national interests.There sits,in the Commons,an official called the “Remembrancer”. His job is to warn the speaker to close down ANY member bringing up things the City doesn’t want aired.

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