In a new report titled "The Great Rip Off" Global Witness describes how criminals are using anonymous companies to help them carry out their crimes, making it very difficult for law enforcement, government and others to catch up.
This report focuses on how anonymous companies have damaged and continue to damage American interests, but this issue does not stop at United States borders. An interactive map released by Global Witness in partnership with TED details the extent of the problem at a global scale, profiling case studies that show how webs of interconnected companies have crossed borders to be used for illicit activity.
To solve the problem, Global Witness and others are calling for beneficial ownership transparency, in which the true owner of a company, the one who enjoys the benefit of that company is publicly listed as the owner.
In March, co-founder of Global Witness Charmian Gooch revealed her TED wish of ending anonymous companies.
Today, October 8th, she is providing an update at TED Global on progress in achieving this wish so far.