Britain’s war on dirty money lacks oomph

WHEN Bill Browder investigated a $230m fraud perpetrated by Russian officials against his investment company, Hermitage, he uncovered a money trail that led to several financial centres, including London. At least $30m of the stolen money flowed into British banks. Much was moved through British shell companies with British nominee directors, one of which was set up by a corporate-registration firm based near Mr Browder’s London office. The loot flowed on to, among others, British interior-design firms, estate agents and a personal concierge service.

No one knows how much dirty money is rinsed through London, but Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) reckons British banks and their subsidiaries (including those in overseas territories) launder “many hundreds of billions of pounds” each year. British companies and partnerships were prominent among the getaway vehicles used in some of the biggest money-laundering schemes of recent years, including the “Russian laundromat”, in which at least $20bn...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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