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Ben Cowdock

Ben is the Senior Research Office here at Transparency International UK, responsible for leading research into corrupt money entering the UK. He holds an MA in Governance and Corruption from the University of Sussex.

From suspicious spending splurges to London kleptocracy bus tours, the UK’s dirty money problem has caught the public eye in recent years. Much of this attention has focussed on the palatial properties and outrageous opulence enjoyed by those who have abused the power entrusted in them by their people for personal profit. However, those responsible

What price should the anti-corruption movement put on privacy? This question is quickly becoming unavoidable for all involved in the fight against corruption and money laundering as we seek a balance between the effective use of information to expose wrongdoing and the responsible use of personal data. It’s important to note these principles are not

Wednesday, 25 July 2018 06:01

First UWOs challenged in Court

This week Transparency International UK has been present at court hearings where claimants are seeking to challenge the first two unexplained wealth orders (UWOs) used by the National Crime Agency at the end of February this year. UWOs – an investigative tool to help law enforcement act on corrupt assets – were brought into use

On Monday the UK Government declared their intention to crack down on the abuse of Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLPs) – a type of British company that shot to prominence as it became the go-to money laundering vehicle for criminals in former Soviet States. These reforms are both welcome and badly needed however care will be

Following the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, the Prime Minister has confirmed that it is “highly likely” that Russia was responsible and has led international condemnation of the Kremlin, vowing to “bring all the capabilities of UK law enforcement to bear against serious criminals and corrupt elites.”  Most welcome though

The last year has seen the UK involved in a number global money laundering cases. In a bid to end the UK’s role as a safe haven for corrupt funds the UK Government took emergency steps two weeks ago to meet a key EU deadline to improve anti-money laundering standards by bringing in new legislation.

As it stands, rules covering lobbying practice in the UK leaves the public in the dark on how private interests attempt to influence decision makers. The second reading of the Lobbying (Transparency) Bill provides a welcome opportunity to change and build greater public trust in the Government.

How much corrupt money is laundered through the UK each year? You’d think there’s an official statistic for this, like inflation or GDP, however you’d be wrong. Measuring global flows of corrupt wealth, like measuring corruption in general, is incredibly difficult. This is largely due to its secretive nature. Corrupt politicians, officials and oligarchs bringing

Thursday, 17 December 2015 12:09

Lifting the Lid on Financial Secrecy

Ben Cowdock assesses what the UK can do to tackle corruption and money laundering caused by anonymous companies registered in offshore havens.

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