Press release 03rd Dec 2019

Response to NCA Settlement Involving £190 Million for Return to the People of Pakistan

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December 3, London – Transparency International UK’s response to an announcement by the NCA that it has accepted a settlement offer of £190 million from Malik Riaz Hussain, a Pakistani national.

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

“We welcome news that UK law enforcement have secured a substantial amount of funds for return to the people of Pakistan. The size of funds in this case is a step change from previous efforts and shows the importance of changes introduced by the Criminal Finances Act 2017. Although there is scant information about the specifics of the case, returning seized funds to the country of origin, as is proposed,  is an  obligation under the UN Convention Against Corruption. We call upon the UK Government to honour its commitment to returning proceeds of corruption transparently and accountably.”
   
“We are unsurprised to find that there is a company registered in the British Virgin Islands that is connected with this case. Our research has found the secrecy provided by this jurisdiction is a magnet for those with crimes and assets to hide. The British Virgin Islands should follow the example provided by other UK Overseas Territories, such as the Cayman Islands and Gibraltar, and commit to revealing the true owners of companies on their shores.”

Notes to Editors:

The UK is a co-signatory of the Global Forum on Asset Recovery’s principals for accountable asset return 

The National Crime Agency, Serious Fraud Office and Crown Prosecution Service have also committed to transparency and accountability in the compensation process for victims of corruption, including the return of assets.