UK Home Secretary Proposed A New Anti Money Laundering Law
Apr 25, 2016 05:42 AM EDT
UK Home Secretary Theresa May on Thursday announced the proposal of a new law on anti money laundering. The new measures is targeting MPs and public officials which were suspected of corruption.
In the light of Panama Papers leak, the new proposal will grant a new power to the civil courts to impose what she called as "unexplained wealth orders." Under the new law, those with unexplained wealth will have to to declare the source of their funds. BBC reported the new proposal is a subject to a six-week consultation period being launched in the House of Commons.
"Britain's world-leading financial system is at risk of being undermined by money-laundering, illicit finance and the funding of terrorism," Mrs. May said in a statement. "The laundering of proceeds of crime through UK institutions is not only a financial crime, it fuels political instability around the world, supports terrorists and extremism and poses a direct and immediate threat to our domestic security and our overseas interests."
Furthermore, she said, as quoted by Reuters, "We will not tolerate this type of activity in our financial institutions ... we will act vigorously against the criminals and terrorists responsible, to protect the security and prosperity of our citizens, and safeguard the integrity of Britain's financial economy."
In the new proposed law, the government suggested an extra measures to improve reporting of suspicious activity. The law also introduced a new offence of illicit enrichment for public officials who had a significant and unexplained increase in wealth. The new law also give authority to banks, lawyers and accountants to take special measures when dealing with company suspected of money laundering.
Anti corruption group Transparency International (TI) welcomed the proposed law. Last November the group reported that every year billion pounds of dirty cash was entering Britain every year, therefore a new measures need to be taken. As RT reported, Transparency International also warned that bold rhetoric needs to be backed up by bold action.
Earlier this month, TI UK published an analysis report which had raised some concern about the role of Britain in the muddy world of global corruption. Executive Director at Transparency International UK Robert Barrington admitted the policies have some excellent ideas. Nevertheless, he wanted to see how the government put that policies into action.
"The powers that are envisaged could make a real difference and, while it is important they are properly debated in parliament to allay any concerns over civil liberties, it is equally important that they are not watered down by self-interested lobbying during the consultation process," he said.
UK Home Secretary Theresa May on Thursday proposed of new law to prevent money laundering. The new law will be a subject to a six-week consultation, and the new measures and will require public officials who were suspected of corruption will have to declare their wealth.