UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – Five dummies stood behind thousands of Scottish companies that were used to conceal criminal activities, including money laundering. This was reported by government officials of the United Kingdom, who announced the beginning of the fight against fictitious firms.
Scottish limited partnership ( the Scottish partnership The Limited, the SLP ) appeared 100 years ago as legal entities, which helped Scottish farmers enter into contracts, borrow money and own property.
Although thousands of British companies use trust partnerships absolutely legally, the new study has shown that they are also being used in complex money laundering schemes, including a scheme in which about 100 SLPs were used to raise about 58 billion pounds sterling from Russia.
SLPs were linked to international criminal groups from Eastern Europe and were allegedly used in arms deals.
From January 2016 to May 2017, the share of five front men accounted for more than half of the 6800 newly registered SLP. By June 2017, 17 thousand SLP – this is more than half of all existing SLP – were registered for only 10 addresses, including several addresses in Glasgow.
This information appeared on the eve of the beginning of government consultations aimed at putting an end to the widespread abuse of SLP.
One suggestion is that a requirement is imposed that obliges all customers to have a direct connection with the United Kingdom and conduct business or have an address in Scotland. This will close the loophole thanks to which at present this scheme can be used by citizens of any country in the world.
The new SLPs will continue to be registered through legal entities education agencies, which means that the nominal chapters will now be checked for involvement in money laundering schemes.
“The United Kingdom has taken a leading role in the fight against money laundering, and it is known all over the world as an excellent place to work, invest and do business,” said Andrew Griffiths, British Minister of Trade and Industry. “But, as we see, especially in the case of Scottish partnerships on faith, they are used to commit a wide variety of crimes abroad – from money laundering to arms trading.”
“This can not be ignored.”
According to David Mundell, the Minister for Scotland Affairs, evidence that the heads of criminal groups used the SLP for money laundering clearly demonstrate that “it is necessary to apply much more effort.”
The Scottish fellowships of faith, which were established in 1907, are now used by thousands of companies working in the field of direct investment and the pension industry to invest an average of 30 billion pounds a year.
However, SLP were involved in the so-called “Russian Landmand” – a large-scale scheme for money laundering, in which from 2010 to 2014 from Russia was withdrawn to 56 billion pounds sterling, accumulated in illegal ways. Approximately 20 SLPs were involved in the implementation of the fraudulent scheme that deprived the former Soviet republic of Moldova, the poorest European country, 741 million pounds sterling, by plunging it into a state of financial crisis.