U.K. lawmakers made last-day amendments to plug several loopholes in legislation passed Tuesday that mandates the creation of a public database of individuals who use offshore legal entities to acquire real estate in Britain. The U.K. Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act, which also eases the British government's ability to impose and enforce sanctions and obtain unexplained wealth orders, has now entered into force amid pressure on the British government to crack down on illicit wealth and the Kremlin-linked oligarchy following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Individuals who own property in the U.K. through overseas entities now have six months to...
Russia's war in Ukraine has propelled long-dormant plans to overhaul the United Kingdom's defenses against illicit finance amid acknowledgements by ministers that successive governments have been complacent in not staunching the flow of illicit wealth into Britain.
After years of inaction, it took Russia's increasingly bloody, unprovoked war against Ukraine to finally spur U.K. officials into advancing plans to address weaknesses that for decades have allowed corrupt oligarchs and officials tied to the Kremlin to park funds in Britain.
The U.K. Home Office announced that the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill was enacted to create a new Register of Overseas Entities and to allow the government to impose sanctions against oligarchs.