DOORS WIDE OPEN: CORRUPTION AND REAL ESTATE IN FOUR KEY MARKETS
Report published 29 March 2017
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The real estate market has long provided a way for individuals to secretly launder or invest stolen money and other illicitly gained funds. Not only do expensive apartments in New York, London or Paris raise the social status of their owners and enhance their luxurious lifestyles, but they are also an easy and convenient place to hide hundreds of millions of dollars from criminal investigators, tax authorities or others tracking criminal behaviour and the proceeds of crime.
In many such cases, property is purchased through anonymous shell companies or trusts without undergoing proper due diligence by the professionals involved in the deal. The ease with which such anonymous companies or trusts can acquire property and launder money is directly related to the insufficient rules and enforcement practices in attractive markets. The countries analysed in this study – Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States – have committed in different forums, such as through the FATF and the Group of 20 (G20), to do more to prevent and curb money laundering and terrorist-financing, including by regulating gatekeepers, such as real estate agents, lawyers and accountants, who may act as facilitators in transactions that can enable money laundering.
This report identifies the main problems related to real estate and money laundering in these four countries and finds that, despite international commitments, current rules and practices are inadequate to mitigate the risks and detect money laundering in the real estate sector.
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DOORS WIDE OPEN
Mark Zirnsak (Tax Justice Network) – investigator extraordinaire on tax havens, money laundering and corruption discusses the most recent report to get Karl excited – DOORS WIDE OPEN. A wide ranging discussion on the momentum towards transparency in government and business.
About tax havens, mining companies not paying their fair share and now real estate agents involved in money laundering with money stolen from some countries and shifted into Australia for our real estate …
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