Research by AML experts, Credas Technologies, has shown that the vast majority of the UK public back the government’s new Economic Crime Bill, as they want more done to battle money laundering in the UK and believe all nationalities should be targeted, not just Russians.
This week, the UK government announced sanctions against a further 370 Russian and Belarusian individuals and entities, bringing the total up to an estimated 1,000.
At the same time, a new law to tackle ‘dirty money’ in the UK is being fast tracked through parliament to target Russian elites.
The Economic Crime Bill will be a new register requiring foreign owners of UK property to declare their true identity. It will be updated on an annual basis and failure to comply will result in assets being frozen, preventing them from being sold or rented.
Credas Technologies commissioned a survey of the UK public and found that the vast majority are in strong support of these measures.
Just 3% were against the government’s decision to impose sanctions on wealthy Russians in retaliation to the invasion of Ukraine.
91% also wanted to see more done to stop money laundering within the UK, particularly through the purchase, sale or rent of commercial or residential real estate.
No surprise then, that 87% backed the government’s fast tracked Economic Crime Bill, however, 86% also want to see it utilised thoroughly across all nationalities committing money laundering crimes, not just Russians.
Tim Barnett, CEO of Credas Technologies says: “The practice of money laundering is as old as the hills, but the Ukraine conflict and the government’s sanction against Russia, have certainly brought it well into the public eye and it’s fair to say that many have perhaps been surprised as to just how prominent it is within the UK.
“It’s also great to see the government fast tracking new legislation that will keep the spotlight firmly fixed on this illegal activity and hopefully this crackdown will come across the board, not just against those with Russian passports in order to grab the headlines.”