UK money laundering: Unexplained wealth orders are paying off — Theresa May
26 Sep 2018

The United Kingdom has taken ‘strong action’ against dirty money, and its law on unexplained wealth has led to some people now ‘playing by the rules,’ according to Prime Minister Theresa May.

May’s comments follow the UK’s National Crime Agency’s announcements that it has made progress on the recently introduced unexplained wealth orders (UWOs), especially regarding politically exposed persons (PEPs).

UWOs demand that an individual suspected of being involved in crime explain how their assets were obtained.

The UK is also understood to be using UWOs to target wealthy Russians based in Britain with suspected links to criminal activities.

“The NCA has been taking strong action against any illicit financial activity they see,” said May to reporters on her way to the UN General Assembly in New York, quoted in the Financial Times.

“They have been seeing in some areas some change of behaviour in people. For example, just the unexplained-wealth orders, just having those has meant that some people have changed their behaviour and are now playing by the rules,” said May.

“You want to see the impact of them, so it’s not just about getting an unexplained wealth order in place, it’s actually just the fact of having that possibility. If that changes people’s behaviour, such as they then play by the rules and regulations, it’s actually had an impact.”

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