The Party’s Over: Confiscating Proceeds of Crime and Corruption in the UK
With the Biden administration spotlighting the role of asset confiscation in its new anti-corruption strategy, how can the UK step up its response against criminal assets during the ‘year of action’?
After years of rich, developed countries such as the US and UK ingesting the proceeds of global crime and kleptocracy into their financial and high-end property markets, the penny (or multi-million-dollar condo) has finally dropped.
President Joe Biden’s new robust stance on anti-corruption – set out in the US anti-corruption strategy and the Summit for Democracy launched in December 2021 – recognises that harbouring the proceeds of crimes committed elsewhere is an action not without domestic consequence , ‘tilting the economic playing field’, corrupting democratic institutions and ‘contributing to pricing out families from home ownership through real estate purchases’. The new strategy sets out a bold blueprint for getting to grips with this problem, including through the bolstering of efforts to confiscate and repatriate the proceeds of corruption.
With the full weight of the US machine behind this effort, there is a clear expectation that others will follow suit during the ‘year of action’. Officials ‘on the hill’ who have been privately frustrated by the UK’s slow progress in tackling its role as a safe haven for corruption proceeds have now been given top cover to give the UK a diplomatic blast.
In his statement to the Summit for Democracy, Prime Minister Boris Johnson committed to taking ‘even stronger measures against the illicit finance that undermines democracy everywhere’. However, how far does this extend to tackling the proceeds of crime sequestered in the UK economy?
Latest News from
Minister to open inaugural Latin America Security Conference13/01/2023 14:05:00
David Rutley MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Americas and Caribbean, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, will deliver the keynote address at the forthcoming Latin American Security Conference on Friday 27 January.
What Does Kenya’s Mutual Evaluation Report Mean, and How Should It Be Used?20/12/2022 16:43:00
Achieving effectiveness in its anti-money laundering system is a challenge for Kenya. Civil society must play a key role in the journey ahead.
Pakistan Escapes the FATF Grey List, but Risks a Clash with its Jihadists19/12/2022 14:25:00
The South Asian country has been able to secure its removal from the FATF’s grey list, but its actions have fuelled dissent among jihadist groups in Kashmir.
Peace Prospects in Ethiopia: A ‘New Dawn’ or Kicking the Can Down the Road?19/12/2022 12:33:00
The settlement agreed by the parties to Ethiopia’s conflict offers hope for a lasting peace. But further measures are still needed to deter future violence and instability.
Countering Terrorism: Why the Time is Right to Pass the Protect Duty16/12/2022 16:38:00
On 22 May 2017, Figen Murray’s life changed forever when her son, Martyn Hett, was one of 22 people murdered in the Manchester Arena suicide bombing.
RUSI Expands Latin American Presence with Peruvian Partnership16/12/2022 14:25:00
RUSI’s growing Latin America focus has been enhanced through a new partnership with Peruvian think tank, Centro de Estudios Estratégicos del Ejército del Perú (CEEP).
European Security Architecture: Against Russia, or With It?16/12/2022 12:33:00
Beyond the immediate priority of bringing peace and justice to Ukraine, Europe’s security architecture needs a redesign and fresh focus.
Project Launches to Monitor and Supervise Ukraine’s Reconstruction Funds14/12/2022 13:10:00
RUSI’s Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies (CFCS) and RUSI Europe launch the Supervising and Monitoring Ukraine’s Reconstruction Funds (SMURF) project to support Ukrainian civil society in the efficient oversight of international aid allocation.
The Prince, the Judge and the Paratrooper: Germany’s Foiled Far-Right Coup13/12/2022 14:25:00
The recent raids and arrests in Germany illustrate some of the trends we have seen in extremism in the last few years, including the transnational connections of groups and narratives and the involvement of current and former members of militaries and police forces in far-right extremism and terrorism.