UK to adopt EU laws on combating terrorism and money laundering

The UK will adopt sweeping European laws designed to combat terrorism and money laundering, the government has confirmed, in a move that could unmask for the first time the beneficiaries of thousands of secretive trusts.

In a letter sent to the MP Margaret Hodge, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) says the government will to adopt the fifth EU anti-money laundering directive.

The legislation was created following the escalation of terrorist violence in Europe and as a response to the Panama Papers, in which a global consortium of journalists revealed the widespread use of trusts and opaque offshore structures to launder money generated from bribery, corruption and tax evasion.

In the letter confirming the government’s intention, Lord Henley, a parliamentary undersecretary of state at the BEIS, wrote on 16 July: “You ask about the government’s plans in regard to complying with the requirements of the fifth anti money

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