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Who controls companies in Europe? Answering this question is of interest to governments, local and central, in charge of planning economic policies; but also to anti-trust authorities and tax agencies, which have to prevent market concentrations, tax evasion and avoidance. And it is also of interest to the anti-money laundering and anti-corruption authorities, who ensure that companies are not used to shield illicit money flows, in and out, and conceal criminals. Yet, despite the centrality of the question, knowing who owns companies in Europe is by no means simple.

Crime&tech and Transcrime research is the basis for this report of the ‘Transcrime Corner’ initiative, in collaboration with Il Sole 24 Ore. It consists of reporting, through periodical in-depth analyses, on the dynamics of criminal phenomena with a strong economic and social impact. In this second chapter, we talk about the opacity of corporate structures in Europe, with several references to the United Kingdom in view of Brexit.

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