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New Clause 16 — Names and addresses of members of companies: company application

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 4:15 pm on 18th October 2006.

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Photo of Paul Farrelly Paul Farrelly Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme 4:15 pm, 18th October 2006

May I give my hon. Friend an example? I once investigated a publicly quoted company that was suspected of involvement in laundering money from one of the former Soviet republics in Asia. The investigation proceeded through an examination of the company's shareholder register, and the shareholder register of companies that were in turn its shareholders, and links to some rather unsavoury characters were found. If I were running such a company, and the new clauses were added to the Bill tonight, the first thing that I would do is apply under the scheme. I would say, "My company operates in a former Soviet republic where violence and torture go on all the time. There is a serious risk of my shareholders being targeted if you do not keep their identities secret."