ICPC tasks UN on owners of artificial entities to check graft
Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, has called on the United Nations and the global community to unmask owners of artificial legal entities to combat money laundering, illicit financial flows (IFFs) and hidden ill-gotten wealth.
A statement by the anti-graft agency’s spokesperson, Mrs. Azuka Ogugua, said the chairman made the call at the weekend as a panellist at the ninth session of the Conference of States Parties (CoSP9) to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) at the International Conference Centre in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
On the draft resolution, L9, entitled, “Enhancing Access and Use of Beneficial Ownership Information to Facilitate the Identification, Recovery and Return of Proceeds of Crime,” Owasanoye stated that artificial legal entities were being used for illegality and financial offences, including illicit financial flows.
He said: “We have held so many meetings and conferences on beneficial ownership. This is the time for action. We need to act now and lift the veil on these artificial legal entities that are being used to perpetrate crimes against developing countries.
“Lifting the veil on these owners of artificial legal entities will assist in asset tracing and recovery of hidden and stolen funds. The developing countries are being deprived of funds required for the development.
“There is no need for the continued debate on artificial legal entities and beneficial ownership. We need to reduce these meetings and debates and take action now. Action is what is required – which is the lifting of the veil on these owners. We need to know those behind these artificial entities.”
The ICPC boss called for information sharing and collaboration among intelligence agencies, adding that the absence of transparency and information makes it difficult to know those behind crimes.