Tens of millions of pounds worth of property in Luton is owned by offshore companies across the world, it can be revealed.
Following a UK-wide Freedom of Information request by current affairs magazine Private Eye, the Luton News has uncovered dozens of properties in the town that were acquired on a freehold basis by overseas companies between 2005 and 2014.
Private Eye claims that international firms buy UK property “generally for tax avoidance and often to conceal dubious wealth”.
Most of the foreign-owned property in Luton is focused around the town centre and Capability Green, though a number of residential areas are also under the gaze of offshore firms.
Records show that one company based in Mauritius, Wallace Properties Ltd, has bought seven parcels of land to the north west of Crawley Green Road and two other patches of land off Kestrel Way, Lewsey Farm.
Property across the rest of the town has also been snapped up by companies based in Panama, the Carribean Islands and Western Asia.
A 56-acre site off Millfield Lane, Caddington, was bought by Al-Qaddoumi Property Consultant Ltd in the United Arab Emirates for £725,000 in February 2014.
The firm’s owner Mohammed Waleed Al-Qaddoumi has previously struck a deal with Barratt Homes to invest in a number of homes in Milton Keynes.
The Luton News has discovered a brochure which splits the Caddington site into 300 plots and boasts that the village “has experienced an amount of residential build in recent years and is also set to see some more imminently”.