Labor launches ‘dirty money’ task force in city: CityAM
Labor will set up a task force on “dirty money and ill-gotten gains” that have been laundered in the City of London, Lisa Nandy said.
The shadow foreign minister told the Labor Party conference this morning that the illicit finance task force will aim to make the UK “the most inhospitable place in the world” for dirty money to the foreigner.
The City of London has long had a reputation as a money laundering haven for foreign governments and organized crime.
Last year, a report by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee on Russia’s involvement in British politics called on the government to crack down on the so-called ‘London laundry’.
American businessman and anti-corruption activist Bill Browder has called the City of London a “global center of money laundering”.
“We will stand up to the oligarchs who subvert our democracy, avoid the taxes that fund our schools and hospitals and use the things that matter to us, the football clubs that are the center of our communities, as toys,” Nandy said.
“Today we are launching a new task force on illicit financing with the aim of making the UK the most inhospitable place in the world for dirty money and ill-gotten gains.
“Today we recognize the fight against corruption as a key element in defending our national interest.”
The National Economic Crime Center estimates that around half of the dirty money laundered outside Russia occurs in the UK.
Nandy’s quip about dirty money in football clubs is probably a nod to Chelsea owner and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.
Russian opposition politician and key Putin critic Alexei Navalny has said the UK should apply financial sanctions to Navalny for his ties to the Russian president.
The Intelligence and Security Committee’s report on Russia said the UK’s investment program had been abused by Russian oligarchs, providing “ideal mechanisms through which illicit funds could be recycled.”
“The money was also invested in extending patronage and strengthening influence in a broad sphere of the British establishment – public relations firms, charities, political interests, universities and institutions. cultural institutions were all voluntary recipients of Russian money, contributing to a process of “reputation laundering”, “It said.
In 2016, the Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee report estimated that around £ 100 billion of illicit money was laundered each year in the London property market.
Nandy said City AM: “For too long, the government has turned a blind eye to this dirty money and ignored the Russia report.
“We have to recognize that speaking harshly with Russia while allowing corrupt elites to take advantage of the city is doomed to fail. A Labor government will be ready from day one to make Britain a world leader in the fight against illicit financing. “
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, supported the candidacy, a spokesman for the town hall saying: “London is a leading financial center in the world, not least because international institutions, investors and traders trust our world-class regulatory systems and agencies.
“We cannot afford to tarnish London’s reputation and it is only right that the Labor Party is ready to take action to eliminate and fight money laundering, by eliminating dirty money and actors of the system.”