lunes, 15 de mayo de 2017

The UK Post-General Election: Strong, Stable and Still Kind to Criminals - TruePublica

The UK Post-General Election: Strong, Stable and Still Kind to Criminals - TruePublica


By Tax Justice Network:
The British Prime Minister Theresa May has called a snap general
election. We’d like to share with you the thoughts of Dr Mary Alice
Young (Bristol Law School, University of the West of England) and Dr
Michael Woodiwiss (Arts and Cultural Industries, University of the West
of England) on the implications for the UK’s secrecy jurisdictions or
satellite havens and for corruption opportunities globally:

In 2005, Raymond Baker from Global Financial Integrity (GFI),
calculated that economic aid from Western countries to poor countries
amounted to approximately $50 billion each year. Baker also found that
the dirty money accumulated by various kleptocrats and high level crooks
in these countries amounted to around $500 billion a year, with much of
it channeled through anonymous shell companies set up in secrecy havens
in the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.

Fast forward ten years since Baker’s publication for GFI, and we
observe in 2015 the Conservative Government spending in excess of £1
billion on economic aid through the Conflict, Security and Stability
Fund (CSSF). Parliament is not told how this money is spent (Report on
the Conflict, Security and Stability Fund (CSSF) but the spending is
thought to strengthen the UK’s national security goals, as the money is
purported to help tackle conflict and build stability overseas. A
significant portion of the CSSF budget is allocated for tackling
‘organised crime’ or ‘transnational organised crime’ in
conflict-affected settings and fragile states, an issue which is deemed
as presenting one of the most serious security threats to the UK.

The general misuse of UK economic aid sent to corrupt countries is
nothing new as indicated by headlines generated by earlier initiatives.
For example, ‘Ten most corrupt countries in world have received £2.7
billion of UK aid since David Cameron took office’. Funds misdirected
into the wrong hands exacerbate rather than address corruption and
violence problems, as the US Plan Colombia and Merida Initiative in
Mexico amply demonstrate. The lack of parliamentary oversight for the
CSSF continues to leave open opportunities for corrupt political, law
enforcement, criminal justice and business actors in poor countries to
misuse aid funding. The lack of accountability and transparency in our
onshore and offshore financial systems continues to mean that any
criminal, not just foreign but domestic as well, can hide and then
legitimise their loot.