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Queen’s Speech: Speculation over new asset law

Written by Guest on Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Transparency International welcomes speculation that Her Majesty’s Government will make it harder for organised crime groups, and those who assist them, from laundering ill-gotten gains in the UK. This follows a number of positive commitments in the Serious and Organised Crime Strategy and at the recent Ukraine Forum on Asset Recovery.


Transparency International welcomes speculation that Her Majesty’s Government will make it harder for organised crime groups, and those who assist them, from laundering ill-gotten gains in the UK. This follows a number of positive commitments in the Serious and Organised Crime Strategy and at the recent Ukraine Forum on Asset Recovery.

The Government are considering creating a new offence of “participation in an organised crime group”, and those convicted under it would face up to five years in jail. The Government also says greater powers will be given to the National Crime Agency and the police to seize criminal assets more quickly, and to close loopholes used by criminals to get round confiscation.

Recently, Transparency International UK submitted to the Government’s National Risk Assessment on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. We stressed that an effective AML regime should prevent the proceeds of corruption from entering the UK. If and when they do, detection, seizure and recovery procedures need to be effective. Where possible, guilty parties should be brought to justice, and there should be no impunity for organised criminals and those who assist them.

However the scale of the problem is huge. In 2011, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimated that over 99 per cent of illicit funds flowing through major economies and offshore centres every year are not detected by law enforcement. And according to the National Audit Office, just 26p in every £100 of criminal proceeds was clawed back by authorities last year.

Today we have therefore identified ten tests that we believe any new legislation must meet in order to tackle the scale of this problem and we will be watching closely to see whether the Government’s commitments go far enough.

 

Matthew Race works for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and is currently on a research secondment with Transparency International UK.

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Read 8570 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 11:47

Guest

The TI-UK blog features thought and opinion from guest writers as well as TI staff. Any opinions expressed by external contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Transparency International UK.

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