Have some London estate agents slipped up on their anti-money laundering checks?

Anti-corruption campaigner Transparency International is calling for the Government to hurry up legislation to create a register of owners of overseas companies used to buy UK property, after Ukranian gangsters were exposed using London property to launder dirty money.

The Government has previously said a beneficial ownership register of foreign companies that own or buy UK property will go live in early 2021, but there are now calls to make this sooner after  the BBC Panorama programme on Monday revealed a number of individuals named in an Italian police report into the ‘Odessa oil mafia’ have been able to hide their identities and anonymously channel wealth into seemingly legitimate assets, such as UK property.

Buying agent Henry Pryor said on Twitter following the programme that some estate agents may have been “a little slack” in their anti-money laundering.

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