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UNODC UNRAVELS THE MYSTERY OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP

 
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UNODC UNRAVELS THE MYSTERY OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP
by Kudzai Chinoda - Friday, 8 September 2017, 10:06 AM
 

UNODC UNRAVELS THE MYSTERY OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP


As was recently demonstrated by the Panama Papers criminals and corrupt politicians are using increasingly complex corporate structures and legal arrangements to conceal their assets.

Ask yourself the following questions.

Who owns Company A?   Is it the directors or shareholders?

If however, Company A is owned by Company B who owns Company A?

If Companies A and B are held by Trust C. Who now owns Company A?

Now imagine that Trust C is held by an Anstalt or Gesellschaft.

Can you answer the crucial question, who is the Beneficial Owner of Company A?

To paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key.”

The key to these questions was revealed to participants at a workshop on Beneficial Ownership organized by UNODC through Asset Recovery Inter-agency Network for Southern Africa (ARINSA).  The workshop for 30 analysts, prosecutors and investigators was designed to de-mystify the problems of identifying the ownership of assets held by companies, trusts and other legal arrangements. The workshop started with an introduction to the legal structures and arrangements that can be used to launder money

The participants were then taken through a case study based on real events. The participants also did their own online research to identify the owners of companies.

What is a beneficial holder?

What is the ultimate beneficial owner?

What does it mean when shares are beneficially held?

What is an ownership entity?

 

The practical skills developed during the workshop will enable the participants to take their own steps to unravel the ownership of companies and trusts. 


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