Britain To Open Public Register For Foreign Property Owners
This story is capable of sending shivers down the spines of some property owners in the United Kingdom.
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It is no longer secret that the United Kingdom had initiated a crackdown on politically exposed persons who use the UK as haven for stolen funds.
The United Kingdom Government says it would now require foreign companies with property on its soil to list their beneficial owners or the people who ultimately control and profit from said properties, on a special public register.
The government said in a statement on Monday that this is an attempt to prevent criminals from using UK properties to launder money.
According to the Business Minister, Richard Harrington, “For the first time, foreign companies owning UK properties will be required to reveal their ultimate owners on the world’s first public register of overseas entities’ beneficial ownership.
“The register forms part of a wider crackdown on criminals laundering their dirty money in the UK and the new information it reveals will make it easier for law enforcement agencies to seize criminal funds,” the statement said.
The statement further said that individuals who will attempt to sell or rent properties without revealing the ultimate owner might face up to five years in jail and an unlimited fine.
“New data also released today shows nearly three-quarters of those surveyed in the UK property market agree that this new register will lead to an increase in transparency and will reduce the potential for illegal activity,” Harrington added.
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