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Island's role in 'UK's secret property scandal'

Report exposes money laundering concerns

The Isle of Man has been caught up in a UK-wide 'secret property scandal'.

The Burnley Express has reported on money laundering concerns, revealing properties in the town have links to 'offshore tax havens'.

More than 200 there are owned by companies registered offshore, of which 27 can be traced to Manx registered offices.

The Land Registry for England and Wales shows more than 87,000 properties worth an estimated £100bn are owned by 'anonymous overseas companies'.

Campaign group Global Witness, which carried out the research, says the figures demonstrate the "alarming scale of the UK's secret property scandal".

It adds that criminals could be using them to launder money.

Senior anti-corruption campaigner at the group Ava Lee said: "UK property is one of the favourite tools of the criminal and corrupt for stashing and laundering stolen cash."

"[The UK] Parliament is reviewing a draft law that could force these secret owners out of the shadows."

The new legislation would mean companies buying property in the UK would have to reveal the identity of their owners.

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