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Top experts in fight against shell companies meeting in Bratislava

Even though the first Slovak register was no great shakes, it gradually improved in quality to become a very useful tool of public scrutiny. Today, after its several upgrades, amendments of the legislation and 6.5 years of use, we can see that we are already falling behind in the anti-shell crusade in many aspects. That is why Transparency organised and expert roundtable on Tuesday, 14 June, dedicated to improvements on the register and higher efficiency in exposing money laundering, fraudulent individuals or conflicts of interest.

We are glad that many highly qualified experts accepted our invitation to join this discussion, including the minister of justice Mária Kolíková, the judge of the District Court of Žilina Jaroslav Macek, lawyers Andrej Leontiev and Pavel Nechala, investigative journalists Adam Valček and Martin Turček, as well as other experts from the state administration, academia and the private sector.

Our new analysis Six years of fighting shells with register of beneficial owners – even top-level legislation needs maintenance offers a summary of shortcomings in the Slovak register as well as suggestions for improvement.

We continued dealing with this topic on 15 June on a day-long international conference Where does our money go? We are happy that we have successfully connected highly experienced foreign experts with key domestic actors, attracting the total of more than 100 participants of the 2-day event.

The marathon of presentations, discussions and expert panels has been a great opportunity to learn from a lot of practical experience with the fight against shells, money laundering, tax avoidance or concealing influential figures in the background of ownership structures. However, discussions have also focused on both national and global future challenges.

Our special thanks for inspiring presentations and discussions during the public part of the conference go to all honoured guests including Maira Martini from the Berlin Head Office of Transparency International; Peter Ringstad from Tax Justice Norge; Louise Russell-Prywata, Director of Policy and Advocacy in the British organisation Open Ownership; Adam Valček, independent investigative journalist; Andrej Leontiev from TaylorWessing; Tor Dølvik from Transparency International Norge and Marek Chromý, analyst from Transparency International Czech Republic

We would also like to thank all other participants who are not indifferent to these topics, as well as our volunteers for help with the organisation of this event. Many thanks to our volunteer Michal Mazák for taking care of photographic documentation of the expert roundtable and the conference, as well as of videos and live streaming. We are also very grateful for great graphic design for the conference materials shared via our communication channels, done by our volunteer Jakub Šarvaic from Pomasle Studio.

The recording of the final panel discussion is available here.

Presentations by individual speakers:

Maira MartiniAvailability of Beneficial Ownership data across the European union

Tor DølvikWho owns real estate in Oslo – a safe haven for money laundering?

Peter H. RingstadExperience with identifying business owners in Norway

Andrej LeontievUnikátnosť slovenského boja proti schránkam

Adam ValčekProtischránkový register ako nástroj investigatívnej žurnalistiky 

Ján Ivančík6 rokov kontroly Registra partnerov verejného sektora

Ľuboš KostelanskýKto Vlastní Slovensko – Ako sme odhaľovali vlastníkov zariadení v cestovnom ruchu 

Louise Russell-PrywataGlobal perspectives & emerging best practice on BOT

Marek ChromýČeské skúsenosti s rozkrývaním vlastníkov, poučenie z kauzy Babiš