Law enforcement agencies in the UK are preparing for massive inspections of wealthy citizens and foreigners who are suspected of corruption and criminal proceeds. If a person is unable to prove the legality of the origin of funds, his assets worth more than 50,000 pounds will be confiscated in favor of the state and sold.
On January 31, 2018, the Criminal Finance Bill or Rules for Combating Organized Crime came into effect. He radically expanded the ability of law enforcement agencies to combat unscrupulous oligarchs. The most important tool is the right to freeze suspicious assets in the amount of more than 50,000 pounds sterling (70 thousand dollars).
According to the original idea, assets worth over £ 100,000 could be frozen. Assets are real estate, cars, jewelry and more. In the final version of the law, any asset worth 50,000 pounds may be under suspicion.
The head of the British Security Ministry, Ben Wallace, has already promised that requests for the condition of the property will be sent to everyone: international oligarchs, and foreign criminals. Under suspicion will fall, including officials (politically exposed persons or political PEP people). If the latter receives a small salary at home and then buys a multi-million dollar mansion in central London, then the question will arise. In the event that it is not possible to prove the legality of the origin of funds, the property will be confiscated and sold. The proceeds will go to provide law enforcement.
Checks will affect dozens of people. Preliminary cases are already underway against two wealthy individuals, the rest are waiting for their turn. Interest is shown to immigrants from the Middle East, Russia, China. Over the decades, many wealthy people, including those with a criminal past, settled in London. Ben Wallace promises to create “difficult conditions” for such individuals and will direct “all the power of the government” to fight to launder in the country.
200% fine for tax dodgers in the UK
It is estimated that 90 billion pounds (127 billion dollars) are laundered annually in the UK. Only with the help of a scheme called Laundromat across the UK, 740 million dollars were illegally withdrawn from Russia. Deutsche Bank and its London branch are also accused of helping to withdraw $ 10 billion from Russia through mirror transactions.
It is precise with this that the authorities are planning to fight and not allow a repetition in the future.
Where to find foreign banks that do not ask additional questions and how much does it cost?
Wallace promises that the adopted law will be fully utilized in the near future. He says that many laws are passed, but not executed. The same should be used.
Apparently, his promises were taken seriously, since it is already known that a dozen Russian oligarchs asked the Russian president to allow them to return to the country.
Russian runaway oligarchs ask to go home to Russia
According to Boris Titov, the business ombudsman, as well as the presidential candidate, a list of more than 10 names was submitted to the current Russian president. In this list, those wealthy Russians who would like to return to Russia.
After the introduction of the new rules in the UK, many rich people have experienced stress. The authorities of the Kingdom had serious psychological pressure on the oligarchs of all stripes. Some of them could not stand the strain and decided to leave Albion before they had additional questions.
From July 2017, the UK will impose a penalty of 100% on tax evasion on lawyers and accountants to help evade taxes.
The new law requires a report on the origin of funds for large assets. In fact, the risk of getting frozen and confiscated exists with each property owner in London and other major cities of the country. But ordinary people do not understand that the hunt for oligarchs will end quickly. But for now, let’s pretend that no one noticed.
At the moment, attention is riveted on those who are rich. Not all of them can prove the legality of the origin of funds. According to law enforcement, in London suspicious real estate at 4.4 billion pounds. Some objects were bought for a very long time and belong to offshore companies. Previously, reporting to offshore was not necessary, so even honest owners face problems.
What can we say about those who cheated or directly violated the law in obtaining money?
Accounting for an offshore company
Therefore, experts note the first outflow of wealthy individuals from the UK. 10+ Russian citizens who have lived in the UK for decades have asked for the right to return to their homeland. Why are they asking? The problem is that many are still under investigation in Russia, even if the workflow itself has been terminated. Titov notes that some have ceased to search for Interpol and only the case that is not properly closed in Russia does not allow them to move back.
They ask Putin for permission to return and not to go to prison.
Perhaps they are even interested in the possibility of capital amnesty: in this way, they will be able to prove to law enforcement agencies in the UK that their assets are pure …
Who specifically in the very list has not yet announced. There are more than ten of them and the number of applicants is growing. The question arises: are the list participants hoping to have time to move to Russia before or after the presidential election? After all, there is a theoretical chance that Putin will not take office. Who then will decide in such a delicate situation?
Great Britain is no longer a refuge
The United Kingdom is changing its course and seeks to restore the reputation of transparent business jurisdiction. The pressure of ordinary people and officials on a system that supports wealthy citizens of other countries (including those with dubious origin) is growing.
Getting a non-dom status becomes more difficult. Reporting requirements will increase. Large purchases will need to be explained: where did the money come from and are they legal?
On the one hand, this is a natural result of the policies and rhetoric of recent years. On the other hand, the UK will find it harder to sit on two chairs: transparent and clear jurisdiction, plus the Lady of Offshore and Overseas Territories. Some cognitive dissonance.
In general, it is necessary to take measures and protect assets. Oddly enough, the most reasonable way to protect them is through legal activities and financial reporting. When you are engaged in honest business and conduct reports, including offshore, to prove their case is many times easier.
Therefore, we urge to act within the framework of the law: real business and suitability, accounting for onshore and offshore companies, paying taxes, etc.
In this case, you always have the opportunity to increase the security of assets and reduce the expenditure side.