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3 Apr 2016


Interview: Chido Dunn, senior campaigner at Global Witness

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Global Witness has been advocating for the names of the people who ultimately own and control companies to be put in the public domain – not just the names of the shareholders, which may be another company or a nominee, but the people who ultimately pocket the profits and control the actions of the company.The UK has led the charge by creating a public register of the people who ultimately own and control all British companies, and steps are being taking in Europe to do something very similar.Limited liability companies were invented as a way of protecting people’s investments; they were never intended as a way of concealing one’s identity...There are always tensions between privacy rights and transparency issues, but owning a company comes with responsibilities and one main one is to say who the real owner is and not hide that fact...This crime hurts the UK and countries abroad, threatening our economy and making us less safe. The corruption involved tops up abusive regimes, keeps fledgling nations relying on aid, stops people fro getting access to healthcare and education, and forces people to flee their counties.