Pakistan's Sharif family in trouble as UK government passes new law over overseas properties ownership
LONDON: Pakistan's Sharif family seems to be in trouble over their overseas properties in Britain as the British government has passed a legislation “Registration of Overseas Entities Bill UK” which would require foreign companies owning UK properties to reveal their real owners.
This legislation passed on the 23rd of July sees the enactment of the world’s first register of overseas entities’ beneficial ownership and comprises of a wide-ranging crackdown on criminals laundering their illicit wealth in the UK.
Consequently, this bill would make it easier for UK’s law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to seize criminal funds, whilst reducing chances for such elements to hide their ill-gotten wealth.
According to the legislation, individuals illegally profiting from properties they own in the UK would be jailed for five years.
And new data disclosed that around 75 percent of the UK’s property industry concurred the new register would lead to a rise in transparency and decrease chances for illegal activity.
The penalties include a ban on any foreign entity selling or leasing property without first publicly declaring its beneficial owner; an individual found to have committed this offence could face up to 5 years in jail and an unlimited fine.
And individuals who fail to register overseas entities when instructed face up two years in jail and an unlimited fine.
Also, people who knowingly try and deceive the register by providing false information face up 2 years in jail and an unlimited fine.
This means it would make it more difficult for Pakistani’s or any other foreign citizens to invest or launder their ill-gotten wealth in the UK.
UK’s business minister Richard Harrington commented: “The UK is known around the world for its open and dependable business environment and this reputation is maintained by keeping under review our required high standards.”