Questionable role of shell firms a cause of concern, says FATF report

ISLAMABAD: In its latest report, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has voiced its concerns on the doubtful role of shell companies, terming them a harbour of money laundering.

The report further emphasised on “best practices” for governments to “get rid of the cloak of secrecy” pertaining to the actual owner of a company, foundation, association or any other legal person, and prevent their misuse for crime and terrorism.

“Transparency of beneficial ownership is essential to prevent the misuse of companies, associations or other entities for money laundering or terrorist financing,” said the report.

Back in 2016, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published the informally dubbed ‘Panama Papers’, which revealed the beneficial ownership of thousands of offshore corporations.

Although a considerable number of those companies were operating legally, the documents showed that some were being used for illegitimate objectives.

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