Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Property and Privacy

The Prime Minister is reported as making a fuss about propety ownership and the ease with which the true identity of owners can be hidden behind nominees, foreign companies and complex legal structures. This is, or should be, a non-problem. Simply require the holders of any property, when formally requested by an arm of HMG, to supply the full details of the ownership chain including the names of all ultimate owners. Failure to comply within a reasonable time - and I cannot see why this would take more than a month - would automatically pass the legal title to the property over to the State. Reliance on the secrecy laws of jurisdictions outside the UK would not only automatically involve the sequestration of the property but the arrest on criminal charges of money laundering and conspiracy of the UK agents and solicitors involved in the sale.  Job done.

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