11 Apr 2018
Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) is working on securing more unexplained wealth orders (UWOs) in line with its ambitions to seize criminal assets and crack down on money laundering.
UWOs, which require require individuals to explain various issues about an asset, including how it was obtained, have been recently introduced to the UK.
In February, the NCA revealed it had secured the country’s first two UWOs, which will enable it to investigate assets totalling £22 million.
The assets are believed to ultimately be owned by a politically exposed person (PEP).
In an Reuters interview published on Tuesday, NCA Director of Economic Crime Donlad Toon said there are about 100 cases his agency is working on, and it is looking to secure five more in the next three months.
“We have significantly increased amount of work ongoing, some of which is against people who are Russian nationals, but there is a wide spread of activity if you look at the nationality of those involved,” he said.
Toon discussed corrupt elites, those who have abused political office to enmasse a lot of cash.
“Some of them you are talking about ridiculous amounts of money,” he said. “It’s the kind of lifestyles of the rich and famous but generally without the ‘and famous’ bit at the end.”
He also said: “This is not all about Russia. It’s not a crime to be born Russian. It’s not a crime to be rich.”
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