The offshore owners of British property will be required to disclose their real identities or face jail sentences and unlimited fines under draft legislation which targets to end the British reputation as a high-risk jurisdiction for money laundering.
This follows numerous years of scandals involving the acquisition of high-value UK property by offshore businesses and also, worries that an absence of regulation was permitting corrupt money enter the housing market.
3 years ago, the national crime agency stated that criminal gangs abroad were utilizing British property transactions to launder billions of pounds in corrupt funds. Earlier this year, the foreign affairs committee in the UK went on to say that corrupt Russian funds laundered through the UK issues a threat to national security.
According to sources, the authorities have stated that the register would be part of a larger clampdown on money laundering within the property industry, which would also make it easier for law enforcers to seize criminal assets.