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Oligarchs: 52,000 properties held in an opaque way in the United Kingdom


More than 20% comes from Russia, in particular for the benefit of people "subject to sanctions and close to the Kremlin", denounces the NGO Transparency International.

Nearly 52,000 properties are still held anonymously in the United Kingdom, some by

"kleptocrats and oligarchs"

, despite the entry into force of rules requiring them to reveal their identity, denounced Tuesday February 7 the NGO Transparency International in a report.

The organization has identified

'over £6.7bn of UK property purchased with suspect funds'

, the majority of which was held through opaque offshore companies, particularly luxury properties in uptown London. .

More than 20% of this sum comes from Russia, in particular for the benefit of people

"subject to sanctions and close to the Kremlin"

, specifies the NGO, which also quotes the former Angolan vice-president Manuel Domingos Vicente or the Azerbaijani leadership couple Ilham Aliyev and Mehriban Alieva.

Fortunes and Mysteries by Roman Abramovich

London, regularly accused of doing too little about the influx of dodgy money into the country, had toughened its tone in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, including passing a law to force property owners real estate to unfold.


"nearly half of the companies required to declare their owner did not do so"

by the deadline of January 31, denounces Transparency International.


“either completely ignored the law or submitted information that prevents the public from knowing who owns them.”

Some for example said the owner was another company

"although that is against the rules in many cases"

, others say they are owned through trusts,

“opaque structures”

, still others have simply claimed to have no beneficial owner, deplores the organization.

“Filling the gaps in the law”

A parliamentary report had crippled last summer the failure of the British government to fight against the influx of Russian

"dirty money"

in the United Kingdom, despite the intransigence displayed.

The role of facilitator played by the powerful British financial sector and the armies of lawyers, accountants and other real estate agents in London are also often pointed out.

"Transparency about who the real owners are

(in the UK)

is key to resolving the issue of

(the country's)

role as a global hub for dirty money

," commented Duncan Hames, an official at Transparency. International, in a press release.

In particular, he calls on the British parliament to act to

"fill the gaps in the law"

, as well as the services of the State to

"actively implement"

the new rules.

Source: lefigaro

All business articles on 2023-02-07

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