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Panama Papers: Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Summit must end impunity for the corrupt

Leaked documents expose the global system exploited by the corrupt to hide stolen wealth

London – 4th April 2016 – Prime Minister David Cameron’s forthcoming Anti-Corruption Summit must begin the process of putting an end to the impunity enjoyed by the individuals involved in so-called ‘grand corruption’, according to Transparency International UK (TI-UK).

The release of the “Panama Papers” further reinforces the existing evidence that a cadre of corrupt politicians, public officials and business people are exploiting loopholes in the global financial system to launder and protect their illicit wealth.  They are able to do so by using a secretive global offshore system.

In every continent corrupt individuals are stealing wealth, depriving ordinary people of vital resources and services.  Once they have enriched themselves, they are able to use a well-trodden path of anonymous companies, offshore tax havens and multiple jurisdictions. This also shines the spotlight on professional enablers, such as lawyers, accountants and estate agents – firms that are apparently respectable but in fact are also facilitating criminal activity. Strong action should now be taken to identify and sanction these enablers, as they are a key part of this global money laundering system.

 

Robert Barrington, Executive Director of Transparency International UK said:

“The Panama Papers seem to confirm the evidence from elsewhere that the world’s corrupt elite are gaming the international financial system to launder and protect their stolen wealth.”

“The only way to stop this grand corruption is through governments, businesses and others coming together and rejecting dirty cash as illegitimate. The time has come to stop turning a blind eye to anonymous purchases of luxury property and goods, refuse to issue un-vetted investment visas and create a legal framework that is fit for purpose in detecting flows of dirty cash.”

“The Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Summit in May is the perfect opportunity to address these issues, but will only do so if the agenda is ambitious and those who are complicit in grand corruption are not allowed into the room to torpedo effective action.”

 

Last year the Prime Minister stated that “London is not the place to stash your dirty cash”, and announced an Anti-Corruption Summit for May 2016. Transparency International UK welcomes the Prime Ministers personal commitment to root stolen wealth out of the global system and hopes the Summit will send a clear message to the perpetrators and beneficiaries of grand corruption that there is nowhere to hide.

 

ENDS

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Transparency International is the civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption

 

Press Contact:

Dominic Kavakeb

020 3096 7695/ 0796 456 0340

dominic.kavakeb@transparency.org.uk

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