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New bill promises to stop kleptocrats treating UK as their safe | Russia

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Companies House will be given new powers to challenge incorrect or fraudulent claims made by kleptocrats and their agents in an economic crime bill that was previously delayed by Boris Johnson weeks before Russia invaded the EU. ‘Ukraine.

The new bill, the second of two that had to be hastily re-announced amid accusations that the government had become soft on dirty money, is backed by new security minister Tom Tugendhat.

I am delighted that today we are introducing reforms that will make it much harder for kleptocrats to protect their ill-gotten gains and treat the UK as their safe, said the former Tory leadership candidate then that he published the bill.

The company’s registrar has been accused in the past of acting as little more than a mailbox, taking at face value all claims made by kleptocrats and their representatives, and thereby making them official, much to the embarrassment of the UK.

But the proposed reforms were delayed earlier this year, prompting the resignation of then Treasury Secretary Lord Agnew and criticism from Labor that the Tories were soft on Russia’s dirty money.

Johnson was forced to announce that the economic crime bill would go ahead, but it was split into two parts. The first focused on creating a register of foreign ownership of British land and property and making it easier to prosecute those involved in sanctions violations. It was rushed in the spring.

Other measures in the latest bill include tighter regulation of Scottish and other limited partnerships. The lightly regulated Scottish limited partnerships had become havens for money launderers from Russia and elsewhere due to their low reporting requirements and the fact that they can be controlled by opaque offshore companies.

Law enforcement will be given new powers to more quickly and easily seize cryptocurrencies that are the proceeds of crime or illicit activities such as ransomware hacker attacks. Money laundering using crypto has risen sharply, Europol warned earlier this year.

An article published by think tank Rusi earlier this week urged the US and UK to maintain their focus on tackling corruption, after a burst of activity at the start of the war last February .

While the invasion of Russia underscored the need to tackle this problem now, it was years of turning a blind eye to dirty money that allowed it to take deep root in democratic societies, especially in states. United States and the United Kingdom, wrote the authors, Isabella Chase and Marie Nizzero.

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2/ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/22/new-bill-vows-to-toughen-stance-on-kleptocrats-fraudulent-uk-claims

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