Homes worth more than £80m in London have been frozen by the High Court on basis of anti-corruption orders. This decision had been made taken as a consequence to stop foreigners from laundering cash in the UK.
The Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs) pressed charges against a foreign national and the National Crime Agency also demanded the official to explain the source of his wealth. The subject was not named in the court. Reports suggest that these properties held by offshore companies cannot be sold or given to new owners until the investigation was over.
According to reports, the UWOs are new anti-financial crime power which targets foreign government officials suspected in laundering stolen money through the acquisition of British Property. UWO usually targets government officials and families outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Allegedly if the suspect cannot explain the source of wealth, the NCA can legally demand seizure of the home property.
It is through this measure that people are prevented from committing huge frauds and embezzlements abroad where there is little speculation to obtain evidence. The measure also allows the subjects to be convicted in British Court.
The first case of UWO targets Zamira Hajiyeva, the wife of a jailed banker from Azerbaijan. She lives in a London property worth £12m, in addition to possessing a golf course in Berkshire. Hajiyeva has allegedly known to spend £16m previously in Harrods over a decade without raising suspicion. Hajiyeva has in return appealed against wrongdoing and loss of property for her case.
Unexplained Wealth Orders has targeted three more properties from prime locations in the capital. The UWO has made a reputation of being a “powerful tool in being able to investigate illicit finance flowing into the UK and discourage it happening in the first place”.