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Britain steps up efforts to target dirty money from Russia, corrupt elites


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Britain steps up efforts to target dirty money from Russia, corrupt elites

 

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is significantly stepping up efforts to tackle the dirty money funnelled by Russians and other "corrupt elites" into or through the United Kingdom, a senior police officer said on Friday.

 

After the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in March, an attack Britain has blamed on Russia, Prime Minister Theresa May promised to tackle illegal fortunes held by foreign nationals living in the United Kingdom.

 

"We have significantly scaled up the work that we are doing," said Donald Toon, Director of Prosperity at Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA). "We are absolutely looking at Russians ... but we are not exclusively looking at Russians and Russian assets."

 

Investors from Russia, China and the Middle East have poured billions into London, buying everything from luxury properties to entire companies, but the source of some of the wealth has been questioned by transparency campaigners.

 

Toon said Britain was a very attractive destination for corrupt foreign money, especially from Russia, Nigeria, Pakistan, former Soviet states and the Far East, and the NCA estimates that some 100 billion pounds of dirty money is moved through or into Britain each year.

 

Toon said in the next few months the NCA was expecting to expand its use of Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs), one means by which the assets of corrupt "politically exposed persons" or those with links to serious crime can be seized.

 

So far, assets worth about 25 million pounds have been frozen using UWOs. Toon admitted the process was difficult and time-consuming as each case had to be taken through the courts.

 

"Some people in that space absolutely have directly and immediately something to fear because they are subjects of cases we are working on," he said.

 

"The fact you are not seeing big numbers at the moment does not mean we are not doing the work, because we are. You will see that come through in the courts; it will take time but you will see it. It takes time because the people who holds these assets are not stupid."

 

Individuals using complex company structures to hide their links to assets were increasingly moving these from British crown dependencies and overseas territories to other jurisdictions because of their greater cooperation with the authorities.

 

He cited the Cayman Islands as one destination that was causing them problems.

 

"We are asking for information that we don't get," he said. "The Cayman government is entirely aware of the UK's concern."

 

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-09-15
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Not only the Russians .Wealthy fleeing  ex Thai politicians have been allowed to buy extensive property worth millions in th UK.

Unlike lawabiding Expats living in Thailand with Thai families.

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For decades now the UK and especially the London property markets have been the money laundering capital of the world.....not only for Russians but other wealthy criminals as well. It helps that non Doms pay no capital gains taxes on the rises in the value of the properties they own in the UK (when they sell of course).

The UK has refused to extradite Russian criminals for these decades and now complains when Russia will likely refuse any extradition request from the UK for the Skrypal suspects.

Typical western government hypocrisy. 

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Q:”The Tories say that just because the money comes from Russians, it doesn’t mean it’s from supporters of Putin’s regime. This is a fair point. For example, Lubov Chernukhin, wife of Putin’s former deputy finance minister, paid £160,000 to play tennis with David Cameron and Boris Johnson. And I can’t see any reason why we should suspect she was ever a supporter of Putin.”

 

Made a quick Google search and it looks like Mr. Chernukhin arrived to the UK with hundreds of millions of pounds right from the position in the Russian government. I couldn’t find any reference for his business career in Russia or elsewhere before his arrival to the UK. Another interesting thing I found after I have searched internet for another 10 min , the same Chernukhin was a hidden partner of Oleg Deripaska, Putin’s pal, from the time when Mr. Chernukhin was within the Russian government.

 

Doesn’t the money smell like flowers ?

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7 hours ago, Pedrogaz said:

For decades now the UK and especially the London property markets have been the money laundering capital of the world.....not only for Russians but other wealthy criminals as well. It helps that non Doms pay no capital gains taxes on the rises in the value of the properties they own in the UK (when they sell of course).

The UK has refused to extradite Russian criminals for these decades and now complains when Russia will likely refuse any extradition request from the UK for the Skrypal suspects.

Typical western government hypocrisy. 

As an Englishman I couldnt agree more. Acting like the spoilt brats they have helped nurture over the last 2 decades at least!

Its like "Oh so Russia have denied these 2 guys are spies" . . . of course they have denied it lol, thats what happens in this 'vocation'

 

So what does the govt do? Look back over history to try and FIND things to punish them? I wonder if they will pull Abramovich in haha - we are only going to come out of this looking weak and pathetic. Or should I say MORE weak and pathetic. 

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The writing was on the wall when Jill Dando was executed on her doorstep after having reported on Russian Mafia in London.

 

The press have stayed away from reporting on what the Russians are upto in London and the Russians have the Tories in their pocket.

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