Unexplained Wealth Orders

Home Office written question – answered on 16th September 2020.

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Photo of Alyn Smith Alyn Smith Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the efficacy of Unexplained Wealth Orders in tackling financial crime in the UK.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Minister of State, Home Department

Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs) were introduced as part of the Criminal Finances Act 2017 and came into force from 1 January 2018. Whilst still relatively new legislation, the Home Office assesses that UWOs (and associated Interim Freezing Orders) are an important addition to existing powers which can result in the provision of critical information which could not be obtained in any other way. UWOs have been used in four cases so far, in relation to property worth an estimated £143.2m. The Home Office keeps the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Criminal Finances Act 2017 under review to ensure that all powers remain effective.

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