The National Crime Agency has secured an Unexplained Wealth Order (‘UWO’) against an individual’s alleged involvement in serious organised crime, as opposed to its traditional targets, being Politically Exposed Persons (PEPS).
Please follow the link for our article on Unexplained Wealth Orders by clicking here.
The Circumstances | Kangs White Collar Crime Defence Team
- The NCA conducted an investigation into a businessman, who was not regarded as being politically exposed, which discovered eight properties alleged to have been funded by criminal activity allegedly involving drug trafficking, armed robberies and the supply of firearms.
- The High Court, on Friday 12th July 2019, granted a UWO accompanied by Interim Freezing Orders to prevent dissipation of assets whilst the investigation of the NCA continues.
Official Comment | Kangs Serious Crime Defence Solicitors
Andy Lewis, Head of Asset Denial at the NCA, said:
“We are pleased to have again successfully secured a UWO to allow us to investigate the source of the funds used to purchase these properties. These orders are a powerful tool in being able to investigate illicit finance generated within, or flowing into the UK and discourage it happening in the first place”.
“The owner of these properties will now have to explain how they were financed”.
“The NCA will not shy away from complex and detailed investigations against those suspected of serious crime”.
What Does The Future Hold For UWOs? | Kangs Serious Organised Crime Solicitors
- UWOs have, to date, been concentrated on PEPs and the proceedings explained above appear to indicate a clear wind change on the part of the NCA when enforcing its powers under the Criminal Finance Act 2017.
- Just over a year ago, the NCA advised that it was considering hundreds of potential UWO applications indicating an intent to adopt this procedure to a much greater extent in the future.
How Can We Help? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors
The matter outlined in this article indicates a clear intent by the NCA to exercise its powers against a wider range of individuals suspected of criminal activity.
Please feel free to contact our team through any of our solicitors named below who will be happy to provide you with some initial advice and assistance.