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No place for 'dirty money' in UK - PM.

Byline: David Hughes Reporter

FOREIGN fraudsters and corrupt offi-cials have been warned by David Cameron that London is "not a place to stash your dodgy cash".

The Prime Minister has promised to crack down on shady offshore companies buying up luxury properties as part of his drive to tackle international corruption.

In a speech in Singapore, Mr Cameron insisted: "There is no place for dirty money in Britain."

The PM, who has championed measures to tackle corruption around the world, said the UK would host a summit on the problem next year and acknowledged "we too must get our own house in order".

He said: "With PS122 billion of property in England and Wales owned via offshore companies, we know that some high-value properties - particularly in London - are being bought by people overseas through anonymous shell companies, some with plundered or laundered cash." He highlighted cases including allegations of links between a former Kazakh secret police chief and a London property portfolio worth nearly PS150m and Nigerian fraudster James Ibori, who owned upmarket properties in St John's Wood, Hampstead, Regent's Park and Dorset.

My message to foreign Mr Cameron said: "I'm determined that the UK must not become a safe haven for corrupt money from around the world. We need to stop corrupt officials or organised criminals using anonymous shell companies to invest their ill-gotten gains in London property."

fraudsters: London is not a place to stash your dodgy " Launching a consultation on increasing transparency, he indicated that rules governing informatio cash DAVID CAMERON on the beneficial ownership of British firms could be extended to overseas companies.

The UK Government has legislated to ensure that, from next year, Britain will establish a publicly accessible central registry showing who really owns and controls all British companies.

Details of property titles owned by foreign firms will be published for the first time by the Land Registry this autumn, providing a public database of overseas ownership.

Setting out his plans, Mr Cameron said: "The vast majority of foreign-owned businesses that invest in property in the UK are entirely legitimate and proper, and have nothing at all to hide.

"They are welcome in Britain. And I want more of them. I want Britain to be the most open country in the world for investment.

"But I want to ensure that all this money is clean money. There is no place for dirty money in Britain.

"Indeed, there should be no place for dirty money anywhere. That's my message to foreign fraudsters: London is not a place to stash your dodgy cash."

"or My message to foreign fraudsters: London is not a place to stash your dodgy cashDAVID CAMERON

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 29, 2015
Words:444
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