In recent years, the UK has imposed tighter restrictions on high-net worth individuals living in the UK, with the exercising of Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs),
Freezing orders and stricter due diligence into the affairs of these individuals to ensure they are free of corruption and not engaging in money laundering.
However, the outcomes of certain high-profile cases where individuals have been investigated for corruption and/or money laundering have demonstrated the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) willingness to settle out-of-court on such cases, as opposed to enforcing more stringent, court-granted measures, like UWOs and freezing orders.
From a law enforcement perspective, settlements are a risk-free and straightforward approach, given that an individual under investigation is far more likely to prefer to settle over other punishments, as well as being more cost- and time-efficient than going to court. At the same time, UK law enforcement bodies are under pressure to achieve results and face criticism when they fail to do so, which further adds to the appeal of settlement as a remedy in money laundering cases.
There is, however, controversy with settlements as they might indicate that UK law enforcement bodies are struggling to decipher money laundering cases and that court measures such as UWOs and freezing orders are not sufficient to battle the issue of white-collar crime in the UK.
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The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.