London toughens fight against dirty money of Russian oligarchs

London toughens fight against dirty money of Russian oligarchs

The British authorities will expand the list of grounds for arresting suspicious accounts.

The National Crime Agency is ratcheting up its focus on targeting Russians with suspicious wealth, Donald Toon, director of the NCA’s economic crime unit, told the Financial Times.

Mr. Toon said it was preparing to expand the use of unexplained wealth orders, which have struck fear into the Russian expat community, to freeze assets in the UK. The court-approved tool allows investigators to seize property unless subjects can explain how they legitimately afford it.

“Are we looking at potential Russian targets? Of course, we are,” Mr. Toon told the Financial Times. “We are looking at high-value Russian assets inside the UK . . . and whether or not we can be in a position to go to the courts and raise sufficient concern to obtain an unexplained wealth order on those assets.”

He added that the NCA was also looking at sources of wealth “from a wide range of other parts of the world,” such as former Soviet Union republics as well as Africa and Asia.

According to FT, roughly £90bn a year of ill-gotten gains washes through the City of London.

Earlier it was reported that the agency was conducting an investigation into 120-140 "corrupt elitists," among whom there are Russian oligarchs and multimillionaires.

Recall that in May the UK Foreign Affairs Committee called on the government "to impose sanctions on individuals associated with the Kremlin and those responsible for gross violations of human rights."

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