Paradise Papers: 'Government must fulfil promises to crackdown on hidden wealth', says former MP

Paradise Papers: 'Government must fulfil promises to crackdown on hidden wealth', says former MP

Duncan Hames spoke out about the Paradise Papers

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Government must fulfil its promises to crackdown on hidden wealth and use powers it acquired earlier this year, according to a former Liberal Democrat MP.

A leak of documents dubbed the Paradise Papers has shown that several people have been involved in using offshore finances to avoid taxes. This has so far included people such as former Conservative party deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft and the Queen's private estate.

Duncan Hames, director of policy at anti-corruption group Transparency International UK, told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "We really ought to see a time now when the overseas territories and the crown dependencies get with the programme and observe these emerging standards of openness and transparency in what after all is a global economy."

He explained the Government is "committed to introducing a register of who really owns the companies including those companies in these overseas territories that own property in the UK or do business with the British Government.

"Having made that commitment, the Government is yet to introduce that register. Doing so would help expose the wealth that is being hidden in the UK as a safe haven."

Hames is also "calling on the Government to use the new powers it has in the Criminal Finances Act passed earlier this year. The unexplained wealth order, to call people to account to explain how they lawfully acquired large sums of money.

"Politically exposed persons represent a high risk of money laundering," he added.

Listen to the full interview above