Sanction-busting UK shell company exported coal from North Korea

Featured in openDemocracy



Tom Keatinge, of defence think tank Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), told openDemocracy that reforming Britain’s corporate system should be a “domestic and foreign policy priority”.

“...Keatinge, who is director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at RUSI, questioned the ability of UK authorities to scrutinise what shell firms do.

“No company, whether registered in the UK or anywhere else, should be engaged in the North Korea coal trade,” he said. “The next question is: what capacity does Companies House have to identify such abuse of UK companies?

“UK companies are widely abused for criminal activity given the lack of verification undertaken at Companies House.

“We are all waiting for the long-promised reform of Companies House which would introduce the beginnings of a proper verification requirement.

“But until that happens, Companies House seems powerless to act against the abuse of UK company structures.”