Published: June 19, 2013
Burnham MP calls for end to money laundering and 'shell companies'

Burnham-On-Sea's MP Tessa Munt has this week joined calls for a public register of company owners and an end to so-called 'shell' companies and money laundering to help fight against worldwide poverty.

The MP held up a copy of the book 'An Idiot's Guide to Money Laundering' to illustrate her point during a parliamentary debate.

"Many resource-rich countries in Africa are deprived of billions of dollars of vital revenue as profits from exports are siphoned off by 'shell companies' which are opaque corporate structures that can hide true company ownership," she explained.

Tessa has backed a campaign by international campaigning organisation Global Witness for greater transparency.

The MP said: "It is shameful that 'shell companies' are allowed to operate with such disregard for regulation. I fully support this register and hope the Prime Minister gives it his full backing this week."

"This is not about extending red tape but about giving all people a level playing field on which to conduct business globally."

The idea of a publicly available business register was one of the first notions that Tessa took to the Business Secretary Vince Cable on becoming his Parliamentary Private Secretary last year.

She added: "It has been a long-term campaign of mine to ensure business is conducted in an open and transparent manner, lifting the veil of secrecy around company ownership and ensuring firms can be held to account by citizens, journalists and civil society – as well as law enforcement bodies."


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