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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 October 2006, 15:58 GMT
'It's too easy to set up a company'
Computer screen and keyboard
Setting up a bogus company is easy it is claimed
Setting up a bogus company is as easy as surfing the net, says Richard Murphy of Tax Justice Network.

Mr Murphy told File On 4 that UK company law makes it simple for corrupt politicians from abroad to register sham companies in the UK.

"If you wanted form a UK company with nominees the first place you would start is Google and simply type in 'UK company with nominee directors'.

"We come up with a company straight away that is offering to form a UK company with nominee directors"

Nominee directors and shareholders will be registered at Companies House without the firm's real shareholders or directors being revealed.

"Some amendments were made in the company Reform Bill asking for a form of disclosure of who really runs a company to be required by law. And the Government put a lot of effort into ensuring that was not part of the bill.

He said the Government saw this as too much of a burden on companies but in reality it is a licence to commit fraud.

However Hilary Benn International Development Secretary said the Government wasn't convinced of the need for a change adding, "in the end in regulation you have to strike a balance."

He also said an EU money laundering directive would make a real difference.

Hear the full story on Radio 4: Tue 31 Oct 2000BST, repeated Sun 5 Nov 1700BST or online at the File on 4 website

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UK 'haven' for money laundering
31 Oct 06 |  File on 4

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