A LEGAL loophole that allows Scotland to act as a possible haven for tax evasion and money-laundering will be debated at Westminster, following a series of exposes in The Herald.

Roger Mullin, SNP Treasury spokesman, will formally call for a full UK Government review into Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLPs) – off-the-shelf firms marketed widely in eastern Europe as “zero-tax Scottish offshore companies”.

The call for a review will come as an amendment to the Government’s finance bill on Monday and follows a series of Herald investigations that revealed how the Scottish-based firms were being used to launder profits from gun-running deals, vodka industry corruption in Ukraine and international diet pill scams. Mr Mullin MP, who represents Kirkcaldy, has already secured the backing of international aid charity Oxfam for his amendment amid widespread political concern that century-old legislation behind SLPs is being ritually abused.

The amendment calls on Chancellor Philip Hammond to “undertake a review of the impact of the tax regime which applies to Scottish Limited Partnerships on levels of tax avoidance and evasion by such partnerships” and report back to both Commons and Lords on the issue within six months. Scottish ministers have already written to their UK counterparts expressing concerns over SLPs, which first hit the headlines last year when it emerged they had been used in the alleged looting of $1 billion from banks in Moldova.

The Herald has recently revealed there are around 500 such businesses being incorporated each month – almost all are owned by shell companies based in traditional tax havens.

None of the 25,000 SLPs registered at Companies House has filed accounts. They do not pay tax in the UK if they do not trade here.

Head of Oxfam Scotland, Jamie Livingstone, said: “Given the clear concerns that this legal mechanism is being abused and may be helping tax dodgers, it needs closer scrutiny and much more transparency. We know that it is the poorest people around the world who lose out when governments are robbed of vital tax revenues that could be used to tackle poverty.”