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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 October 2006, 15:57 GMT
UK 'haven' for money laundering
Money generic
File on 4, Tuesday 31st October at 20:00 GMT
Prime Minister Tony Blair believes tackling corruption is essential for developing countries.

The man charged with leading the UK's initiative is International Development Secretary Hilary Benn.

But is there a gap between the rhetoric and the reality?

File on 4 has also learned that an African politician used stolen money and the proceeds of bribes to buy a

luxury penthouse in London and opened accounts in five different banks.

Under UK law, banks should file Suspicious Activity Reports if they have any concerns.

But the individual was only reported six years after he bought his first property.

The programme has also found that investigations were hampered by red tape when an African government tried to discover if a hotel in the UK was bought with the proceeds of corruption.

A company set up to siphon oil profits from another African state was swiftly wound up when the Bermudan Government became suspicious that it was sham.

Yet the same company co-registered in the UK remains on the Companies House register.

Fran Abrams asks if corrupt leaders in developing countries are right to see London as their money "laundry of choice."



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SEE ALSO
Is Africa beating corruption?
12 Sep 06 |  Africa Have Your Say
FSA removes money laundering rule
27 Jan 06 |  Business
Blair promises new Africa focus
26 Jun 06 |  Business


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