Based on joint research between TI-UK and Bellingcat, “Offshore in the UK” provides new insights into how money launderers are abusing Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLPs) – the UK’s own home-grown secrecy vehicle – to move billions of pounds of corrupt wealth around the world.
The report identifies how SLPs have become unusually popular in the last ten years, with a substantial proportion of them bearing the hallmarks of money laundering vehicles.
According to this new research:
- 71 per cent of all SLPs registered in 2016 were controlled by anonymous companies based in secrecy jurisdictions, like Belize, Seychelles and Dominica – an opaque corporate structure which is a known indicator for money laundering risk.
- 113 SLPs with similar secretive structures were used to launder between $20 billion and $80 billion between 2010 and 2014 as part of what has been called the ‘Global Laundromat’.
- SLPs formed key parts of a $1billion raid on Moldovan banks, involving corrupt judges and officials, which cost the country around an eighth of its annual GDP.
- Two SLPs are alleged to have helped facilitate illegal bribes to an Italian politician at the Council of Europe. These could be part of a much wider network of over 1,500 other UK legal entities with suspicious corporate structures.
The full report can be read here.