Phantom firms exist only on paper. They are fake companies set up to hide the identity of the people who control them. They allow criminals, corrupt politicians and dodgy businesses to profit – while robbing Africa of much-needed resources.
The UK government is now considering proposals to crack down on phantom firms. What is needed is public disclosure of who owns and controls companies and trusts. Armed with this information, citizens will be able to root out corruption and help to ensure that resources are used to fight extreme poverty rather than lost to dodgy deals.