For far too long, corrupt officials have been able to stash their ill- gotten gains in foreign banks and/or invest them in luxurious mansions, expensive cars or elite education for their children with total impunity and in blatant disregard for the citizens they are supposed to serve. They are aided by the complicity and complacency of countries and banking centres that allow illicit financial flows and entry to the corrupt to enjoy stolen wealth. THIS HAS TO STOP. The “Unmask the Corrupt” campaign is Transparency International’s 24-month campaign which is part of the wider No Impunity initiative. The campaign aims to end the secrecy that aids and abets shifting the proceeds of corruption across borders. Money and power are not anonymous, nor should they be. Unmask the Corrupt campaign targets impunity for corruption at both the systemic level and at the individual level by reducing the ability of the corrupt and those who facilitate their actions to engage in cross-border transfer and use of illicit assets.
At the systemic level, the twin campaign objectives of 1) establishing public registries of companies and trusts that identify beneficial owners, and 2) greater regulation and enforcement of luxury investments, aim to reduce the ability of corrupt officials or companies to engage in cross-border transfer and use of illicit funds.
At the individual level, the campaign objective is to stop the travel of the corrupt through increased and more transparent denial of entry processes by G20 countries, such as restricting or eliminating the ease of obtaining a “golden visa”.
Taken together, the 24-month campaign’s goal is to make it more difficult, troublesome and illegal for the corrupt and their facilitators to move and enjoy their illicit assets, ultimately reducing the scope and incentive for large-scale theft of public money and/or solicitation of bribes and other facilitation payments.
Aim of the Campaign:
- To end the secrecy that aids and abets shifting the proceeds of corruption across borders.
- This global campaign seeks to unmask the corrupt, meaning the public officials and others who transfer stolen assets abroad.
- TI will name the institutions where the cash is deposited and invested and identify the people, wherever they may reside, who assist the flow of ill-gotten gains to foreign banks and real estate beyond the reach of their nation’s legal system
- The campaign calls for an end to the use of secret companies by corrupt individuals to hide illicit finances from law enforcement authorities
The campaign will unite many thousands of anti-corruption activists around the world with businesses and public leaders.
TI will partner with parliamentarians, investigative journalists and other civil society organisations for advocacy with governments and at inter-governmental fora such as the G20, the OECD and FATF.
Main message of the campaign:
- Beneficial ownership- Shell companies, secrecy jurisdictions and opaque corporate ownership structures allow the corrupt to hide their ill-gotten wealth. It’s time for governments to unmask the corrupt and publically reveal who really benefits from every company registered on their soil. Brief Policy – (Beneficial Ownership) (Malay Version: Pemilik Benfisial)
- Denial of entry – The corrupt should not be allowed to travel freely across borders to enjoy luxury lifestyles funded by theft and corruption. Brief Policy – (Denial of Entry) (Malay Version: Penafian Kemasukan)
- Luxury goods – Governments should make sure that luxury retailers are not handling corrupt money and returning it back into the system, by enforcing legislation requiring proper checks/due diligence on their customers. Brief Policy – (Due Diligence) (Luxury Sector) (Malay Version: Mengawal Selia Pelaburan Mewah)
- TI’s press statement on Unmask the Corrupt. Press statement 50 – TI_Unmask The Corrupt
- More info and comments at http://www.transparency.org/