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Queen’s Speech: Does new stolen assets law go far enough?

Written by Robert Barrington on Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The Queen has announced that the Government will introduce a new Serious Crime Bill which will aim to disrupt serious organised crime and strengthen powers to seize criminal assets, as well as a law to establish a public register of company beneficial ownership.


The Queen has announced that the Government will introduce a new Serious Crime Bill which will aim to disrupt serious organised crime and strengthen powers to seize criminal assets, as well as a law to establish a public register of company beneficial ownership.

This announcement is a welcome recognition by the Government that it is time to act to stop the UK, and London in particular, becoming a safe haven for the world’s most corrupt individuals and their stolen assets.

There is abundant evidence that corrupt funds are laundered through the UK and used to buy property, luxury goods, sports clubs, companies, fine art and other assets – helped by a small army of professional intermediaries like lawyers and accountants and with reputations cleansed with the help of PR firms. This damages UK society, puts Britain’s reputation at risk, and effectively grants impunity to people who are serious criminals in their home countries.

We have identified ten tests that we believe any new legislation must meet in order to tackle the scale of this problem. We will be monitoring the draft legislation carefully to see whether it represents serious action or window-dressing. The UK must send a simple message to corrupt oligarchs and dictators who use the UK as a safe haven: the party’s over.
 

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Read 6138 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 11:47
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Robert Barrington

Robert is TI-UK's Executive Director. You can view his full bio here, and tweet him @TIukED.

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