Corrupt Nigerian Politicians Can No Longer Go To Britain
Corrupt Nigerian politicians seeking a safe haven in Britain will now have to look elsewhere as a new law has been passed authoritising the British government to seize unexplained wealth until they are accounted for.
Government officials will now use the unexplained wealth orders (UWOs) to clamp down on money laundering through Britain.
According to officials, more than £90 billion ($127 billion, €102 billion) is laundered through Britain yearly.
Although not specifically targeted at any nation, Nigeria is expected to benefit hugely from the law going by the high number of choice properties linked to political-exposed persons of Nigerian heritage in the UK.
Security and Economic Crime Minister, Ben Wallace told The Times that officials will use new UWOs, which came into effect this week, to seize suspicious assets and hold them until they have been properly accounted for.
Wallace said Russian oligarchs suspected of corruption will be forced to explain their wealth.
Wallace said he wanted the “full force of the government ” to come down on corrupt politicians and international criminals using Britain as a haven .
“When we get to you we will come for you, for your assets and we will make the environment that you live in difficult,” he said .
Speaking of Russian involvement , Wallace highlighted the so -called Laundromat case in which ghost companies — many based in Britain — were used to launder Russian money through Western banks.
“What we know from the Laundromat expose is that certainly there have been links to the ( Russian) state . The government ’s view is that we know what they are up to and we are not going to let it happen any more ,” Wallace said .
“Beneath the gloss there is real nastiness, ” he said of international crime lords .
“We are going to go after these iconic individuals , whether they are known about in their local community or known about internationally . ”
UWOs allow the British authorities to freeze and recover property if individuals are unable to explain how they acquired assets in excess of £ 50 ,000 .
Wallace said that a lawmaker from a country where MPs do not receive big salaries , who suddenly buys a luxury townhouse in central London , would have to prove how they paid for it.
“We will seize that asset , we will dispose of it and we will use the proceeds to fund our law enforcement ,” he said .
“I have put pressure on the law enforcement agencies to use them ( UWOs ) soon .”