London a haven for money laundering by organised criminals say investigators

London has become a haven for money laundering by organised criminal groups, in part because it is so easy to create companies in the UK, according to an investigation by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

One of OCCRP’s recent investigations focused on Fabio Castaldi, an Italian who has registered hundreds of companies in the UK’s capital city.

Italy-UK IFFs

According to OCCRP, Castaldi supposedly runs a tax consultancy from rented London offices where neither the other tenants nor the receptionist have heard of him.

He and his UK-registered companies do however make frequent appearances in the case files of Italian police who investigate money laundering and other illicit financial flows between Italy and the UK.

Accusation and denial

They say he has a track record of creating companies used for criminal activities.

Castaldi himself denies any criminal involvement, and says he cannot be held responsible for what his clients do with the firms he helps them create.

Shell companies

Since 2008, Castaldi and his main company, now called Castaldi Lawyer have appeared in at least four separate Italian police investigations into tax evasion, bankruptcy fraud, and money laundering according to OCCRP. It says that in one case he is about to go on trial.

The OCCRP investigation quotes experts who say his career as a professional formation agent sheds light on how London has become a haven for money laundering by organised criminal groups, in part because it is so easy to create companies in the UK.

The OCCRP investigation, Calling London, can be found here.



Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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