In the UK, the so-called "Criminal Finance Law" (Bill of Criminal Finance), approved by the Queen on April 27, 2017, came into force. Law enforcers are now ready to seize real estate, if the beneficiary can not explain the source of the funds for its purchase. A similar fate awaits those who have problems with criminal law. The bribe takers were extended by the statute of limitations. Also, it is not sweet for companies that have problems with paying taxes both in Britain and abroad.
It's no secret that the Foggy Albion has long become a favorite place for Russian officials and businessmen, where they send billions of dollars for decades, buying up castles and mansions there. Now they are faced with a choice: either to fully disclose the source of wealth, or urgently withdraw funds from this country, until the auditors came up.
Talks about the fact that London intends to "bring to the clean water" foreign billionaires have been going for a long time. Against the backdrop of a series of high-profile international scandals involving off-shores, and after the release of a documentary about the laundering of Russian and Arab money in London, a request was made by British society to take specific actions. The United Kingdom authorities could not afford to ignore the situation. As a result, a draft law was submitted to the Parliament for consideration, obliging wealthy foreigners to provide the authorities with complete information about the sources of their incomes. The text of this document introduced the concept of "wealth of unexplained origin", which will be subject to confiscation in favor of the state treasury. As already mentioned above, the law was approved by the queen in late April 2017 and now comes into force.
"The Criminal Finance Law" provides for a significant tightening of legislation in the field of combating tax evasion, money laundering, corruption and the financing of terrorism. Its norms authorize law enforcement agencies to remove suspicious real estate (if the value of the property exceeds £ 50,000), if the owner (the beneficiary) can not explain the source of the funds for their purchase. Real property can be confiscated from politically significant persons, or from persons who are involved or connected with serious criminal offenses. The possibility of extending the time frame for investigating suspicious transactions by law enforcement agencies is envisaged.
The law, among other things, provides for liability for companies and partnerships in the form of a fine, as well as subsidiary liability for assistance in tax evasion (both at home and abroad) by related persons (including employees, agents, others). Potential fines are not limited. Companies and partnerships can avoid responsibility if they prove that they have introduced appropriate preventive mechanisms that reduce the risk of tax evasion. In addition, criminal liability is introduced for companies registered in the UK for non-payment of taxes in other countries.
"Our Version" previously wrote about future difficulties that Russian nouveaux riches will soon face, preferring millions to invest in purchasing a property in prosperous England. Perhaps soon on the pages of leading British newspapers we will see high-profile corruption scandals about people who could not explain to the police - where did they get money to buy the locks, or how someone decided to leave the cozy Island.
Alexey Grechnev, lawyer of the consulting company Horizon global:
The Criminal Finances Bill provides law enforcement authorities more powers to combat money laundering, corruption and the financing of terrorism. The law presupposes that the law enforcement agencies, in particular, the Her Majesty's Tax and Customs Service and the Department for Combating Economic Crimes, will have the authority to demand from owners of expensive property explanations of its origin. To carry out the British bodies of executive power this will be in the form of so-called requests for the state of property of unknown origin (unexplained wealth orders). The request can be sent to the owner of assets worth more than 100 thousand pounds sterling. The list of property that is subject to confiscation includes: bank accounts, real estate and precious jewelry tolstosumov.
The adoption of this law is a response to frequent accusations of human rights organizations that the UK has become a haven for corrupt officials, criminal authorities and a safe haven for money laundering. The people of the UK are tired of putting up with the fact that the old good Britain - a country with traditional puritanical-conservative moral foundations in the 20-21 century turned into a "monastery of evil," a hotbed of corruption and financing of Islamic terrorism.
In addition, to a certain extent this law also has an "anti-Russian" character. The British society is tired of periodic scandals and binges with the participation of "new Russians" who have a criminal past, and hiding from the Russian Themis who settled in London. Britain is tired of associating itself with the wild, ignorant, cultured adherents of "wild capitalism." Of the "former Russian citizens" who may be attacked by the British Themis, they are runaway Russian oligarchs, as well as former Chechen warlords who settled after the Chechen conflict in Britain.