[co-author: Avi Gray]
South Africa’s protracted fight against corruption and financial crime necessitates the deployment of new and effective countermeasures to combat criminality. Open access to timely and accurate identifying information on the Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (“UBO”) of corporate entities would be a force multiplier in this fight and would go a long way to building trust in the country’s financial system.
Exploiting anonymous shell companies and hiding behind sophisticated, opaque corporate structures has been the modus operandi for criminal enterprises globally. The first step towards combatting these syndicates is through increased transparency around the identity of these companies’ beneficial owners, i.e., the individuals who ultimately benefit through effective ownership or control of the company.
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