Britain on Tuesday vowed to enforce effective clampdown on the use of “dirty money” to buy up high end new condo of expensive properties. The British government promise to expose every owner of anonymous foreign shell companies concealing “dirty” cash in London’s active and buoyant property market.
Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking in Singapore on a regional trade visit, had strongly emphasized that such efforts was part of anti-corruption drive to ensure that Britain did not become a “safe haven for corrupt money from around the world” being make use of buying up properties in London real estate market.
“We know that some high-value properties – particularly in London – are being bought by people overseas through anonymous shell companies, some of them with plundered or laundered cash,” Cameron said. “There is no place for dirty money in Britain.”
Around 122 billion pounds of properties in England and Wales is owned via offshore companies, he said, announcing that a central registry of land and properties owned by foreign firms would be created in the coming months which will provide details of the owners of around 100,000 property titles as a result of the highly active property market which saw a surge in the new launch condo type apartments put on sale by various developers and attracted the attention of many foreign buyers or companies. Such foreign buyers usually made transaction through 3rd party property agency engaged by the developers.
“We need to stop corrupt officials or organised criminals using anonymous shell companies to invest their ill-gotten gains in London property, without being tracked down,” he said.
Cameron also said the government was considering implementing rules to force foreign firms wishing to bid on government contracts to provide full details on their ownership structure.