UNEXPLAINED WEALTH ORDERS “AS SIGNIFICANT IN FIGHTING CORRUPTION AS THE BRIBERY ACT”

Transparency International UK welcomes passing into law of Criminal Finances Bill

Issued by Transparency International UK



The passing into law on 27 April of Unexplained Wealth Orders, a provision of the Criminal Finances Bill, is as significant in the global fight against corruption as the 2010 Bribery Act, according to Transparency International UK.

Transparency International’s research has exposed the role of the UK as a safe haven for corrupt money laundered from all over the world, harming ordinary citizens both in the UK and abroad. Unexplained Wealth Orders will empower UK law enforcement agencies to target corrupt money flowing into the UK and more easily return it to those from whom it has been stolen.

In March 2017 Transparency International research identified London properties worth a total of £4.2billion that were bought by individuals with suspicious wealth. The anti-corruption watchdog is now calling on the next Government to ensure these powers are used effectively to target all suspicious wealth being brought into the UK.

Duncan Hames, Director of Policy Transparency International UK, said:

“We welcome the cross-party support the Criminal Finances Bill received, reflecting the importance of this legislation. Unexplained Wealth Orders will help the UK get its house in order on suspicious wealth and help return stolen assets to countries that are blighted by corruption. This is a journey that has seen us aggressively threatened with legal action by an oligarch from the former Soviet Union, amidst a climate of intimidation of our offices overseas, cyber-attacks on our colleagues and smear campaigns against anti-corruption activists; landmark legislation such as this makes all those sorts of threats worth the risk. ”

“Transparency International pays tribute to the expert members of its Illicit Enrichment Taskforce that originated the concept of using Unexplained Wealth Orders in the UK, as well as our team that have led the campaign to secure their passage into law. The support of organisations such as Global Witness and countless individuals, including Bill Browder, has been vital in ensuring these proposals are enacted.”

“Any law is only as good as its implementation and we now call on law enforcement agencies to use Unexplained Wealth Orders as soon as they are empowered to do so, and the next Government to ensure they are properly resourced. The £4.2billion worth of London properties we identified as having been bought with suspicious wealth represent low-hanging fruit for Unexplained Wealth Orders and ought to be a good starting point for their use. We look forward to announcements from the National Crime Agency that they have initiated proceedings and expect to see a significant dent in this £4.2billion worth of London property in the first twelve months.”

The use of Unexplained Wealth Orders in the UK originated following an Illicit Enrichment Taskforce convened by Transparency International in early 2015, that later published its findings here. In October 2016 our research found that a single house, owned by the Gaddafi family, was the only asset the UK had recovered from political elites of Arab Spring states.


For any press enquiries please contact

Dominic Kavakeb
T: +44 20 3096 7695
M:+44 79 6456 0340
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Latest

Support Transparency International

The theme for the 18th edition of the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) is announced

Building on the priorities set out in the Panama Declaration, the 18th IACC in Denmark from 22 to 24 October 2018 will move the pledge of acting together now to concrete action.

A new home for our corruption research

Transparency International is excited to announce the launch of the Knowledge Hub, a dedicated online space for our research.

Pardon me? Presidential clemency and impunity for grand corruption

Recent events in Brazil and Peru have shone a spotlight on the issue of presidential pardons in cases of grand corruption. Read more to find out the best practices that legislators can use to ensure that pardons are not abused for political purposes.

Stopping Dirty Money: the Global Effective-O-Meter

As of December 2017, global effectiveness at stopping money laundering stands at 32% effectiveness.

Corruption in the USA: The difference a year makes

A new survey by Transparency International shows that the US government has a long way to go to win back citizens’ trust.

Anti-Corruption Day 2017: Empowering citizens’ fight against corruption

The 9 December, is Anti-corruption Day. A key part of Transparency International’s work is to help people hold their governments to account. Have a look at what we've been doing around the world!

Digital Award for Transparency: Honouring digital initiatives to fight corruption

The Digital Award for Transparency awards individuals and civil society organisations who have developed digital technology tools used to fight corruption. The award aims at strengthening and promoting existing initiatives that promote good governance through three categories: Open Data, Citizen Engagement and Anti-Corruption Tools.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media

Would you like to know more?

Sign up to stay informed about corruption news and our work around the world