Press release 01st Aug 2019

TI-UK responds to story on MPs’ defence of corporate secrecy in Cayman Islands

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1st August 2019, London – In response to a story by BuzzFeed News reporting that two senior MPs accepted a free trip to the Cayman Islands before speaking in support of corporate secrecy there, Duncan Hames, Director of Policy at Transparency International UK, said:

“These MPs defending corporate secrecy would have been more credible had they expressed their views before accepting a free trip to the Caribbean. Obscure companies registered in places like the Cayman Islands are a common tool used by criminals and the corrupt to funnel dirty money into the UK.

“Caught parroting their generous hosts’ arguments, these senior MPs should be embarrassed by their evident ignorance of the realities of public registers of company ownership. If they really want to educate themselves on the issue, they could instead have organised a fact-finding trip to sunny Cardiff to speak with the public servants there who run Companies House.”

***ENDS***

Notes to Editors:

Our Cost of Secrecy briefing published in December 2018 illustrates how companies registered in secrecy jurisdictions like the Cayman Islands are used by criminals and the corrupt as a way to mask the true source of their wealth.

Looking at 237 corruption cases from the past 30 years, we identified 1,201 different companies registered in the UK’s Overseas Territories that aided gross abuses of entrusted power for private gain around the world.

Of these 237 cases, 32 were associated with companies registered in the Cayman Islands.