Terrorism, Inc.: How Shell Companies Aid Terrorism, Crime, and Corruption

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Terrorists, drug traffickers, corrupt politicians and criminals easily move money around the globe every single day. They use shell corporations, which have no assets or operations and exist simply to conduct business transactions. Shell corporations serve no legitimate business purpose other than to hide their true owners and officers. They enable brutal dictators in Equatorial Guinea and Uzbekistan; terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah; and drug lords to hide their profits from crime and corruption.

The Open Society Foundations have had a long-standing commitment to ensuring that money flowing to, from, and within societies is governed in the best interests of all citizens—rather than simply the powerful.

Toward that end, we commissioned this briefing paper on the problem of shell corporations and the current efforts to get beneficial ownership information into the public domain.