Movers & Shapers: Follow the Sussexes plus the latest on money laundering

Dirty Money

In The Laundromat, a movie about the Panama Papers, Meryl Streep plays a widow who investigates money laundering. She is astounded by the use of shell companies to hide the origin of funds. Jerry Walters, the head of the anti-money-laundering consultancy Financial Crime Services, knows all about shell companies. His business, which was recently bought by Lonres, a property services company, is training estate agents to spot money laundering. He is investigating the purchase of one London property in which details of the original owner have been hidden behind nine shell companies. The campaign group Transparency International says that London is known as the money-laundering capital of the world and estimates that 283 London properties, worth £4.4 billion, are owned by individuals with suspicious funds. Last week, however, the net began to close tighter, with new rules requiring lettings agents to check the provenance of landlords as well as tenants. This will mean they will need to check how landlords bought the property and whether the purchase involved the proceeds of crime.

Read the full article in The Times (paywall)



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