Editorials

Clean the company registry

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Attorney General Paul Kihara. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

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Summary

  • The latest data from the Registrar of Companies show 2,540 entities were closed in the year, more than 1,255 in the previous year.
  • We have had instances in the past where individuals and organisations used shadowy companies to move huge sums of suspicious money.

The move by the Attorney-General to deregister more than 2,000 firms that failed to disclose their owners is laudable.

Latest data from the Registrar of Companies show 2,540 entities were closed in the year, more than 1,255 in the previous year.

Some of these companies registered with scanty details may have been used for serious financial crimes such as money laundering, financing of terrorism, illicit wealth and tax evasion.

Corrupt business people and officials also tend to take advantage of the anonymity to steal from the public.

We have had instances in the past where individuals and organisations used shadowy companies to move huge sums of suspicious money.

Investigations into the loss of taxpayers funds at National Youth Service (NYS), for example, unearthed shell companies whose owners could not be traced. However, the AG should not stop at that.

There are still registered entities that have questionable details and should be investigated and deregistered if found on the wrong.

The ongoing process of cleaning the company registry to, among others, link firms with their respective owners should also be expedited.