The number of owners of large fortunes, whose origin is investigated by the British National Agency for Combating Crime (NCA), is 120-140 people, most of whom are Russians or somehow connected with Russia, writes The Times.
The number of suspicious owners of "property of unknown origin" was named by NCA director for economic and cybercrime Donald Tun. At the same time, he specified that when choosing the object of investigation, his group does not focus on the citizenship of the suspects. "We are focused on fighting against corrupt elites and their illegal wealth. We do not choose a goal on the basis of citizenship, "explained Thun.
However, a source familiar with the investigation said that "a significant part of them are Russian citizens or connected with Russia." Thun also rejected the suggestion that the push to investigate the NCA was the new US sanctions against Russians, imposed on April 6, 2018, which included, among others, businessmen Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg.
In addition, British intelligence officials are also considering the legality of issuing investment visa to rich Russians. This step was followed after the authorities refused to extend the investor visa to Roman Abramovich, who as a result received Israeli citizenship and moved there.
Since February 2018, the UK authorities have been given the right to send inquiries about the unclear status of the state (Unexplained wealth orders - UWO). Such requests are governed by the British law on combating criminal finance. If individuals can not explain the origin of incomes in excess of £ 50,000, the British authorities will be able to freeze their assets.
The Minister of the British Home Office, Ben Wallace, said at the time that he would like to attract "all the forces of the government" to fight criminals and politicians who use Britain for money laundering. "When we get to you, up to your assets, we'll give you a hard life," warned Wallace. The Times then noted that annually in Britain laundered £ 90 billion of illegal income.
Wallace then also recalled the case of Landandrom, a scheme for laundering Russian money through Moldova and Latvia, which was disclosed by OCCRP journalists. "We know about the exposure of the Land Roma, that there were definitely links with the [Russian] authorities. The government's position is that we know what they did and will not be allowed to do it again, "Wallace promised then.
May 20, it became known about the problems with obtaining a British visa from a businessman Roman Abramovich. Due to the lack of a valid entry permit, the billionaire did not qualify for the FA Cup final. On May 28, the media reported that Abramovich had completed all the formalities related to the move to Israel. As an Israeli citizen, Abramovich will be able to enter the UK without a visa, which was confirmed by the representative of the country's Prime Minister Teresa May. However, he said, visa-free entry will be possible only for a period not exceeding six months. And at the same time Abramovich will not have the right to work in Britain.