Luxembourg: Where wealth meets secrecy

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Luxembourg was one of the first countries to comply with the EU directive requiring member states to establish a public register, making its register public in autumn 2019.

French newspaper Le Monde has now scraped the register and collaborated with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, Miami Herald, Süddeutsche Zeitung and other media organisations to analyse the data.

OpenLux shows that Luxembourg has 140,000 active companies – investment funds or otherwise – that hold at least US$6.5 trillion in assets.

Alongside powerful businesspeople and Hollywood celebrities, investigative journalists found the OpenLux database to contain names of individuals suspected in criminal activity. Some are even under investigation back home, where the authorities were unaware of their Luxembourg-based companies until now.

In addition, our investigation together with the Anti-Corruption Data Collective has revealed that 80 per cent of Luxembourg-based investment funds did not declare beneficial owners at all. Some also submitted conflicting information to the US authorities.