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Unexplained Wealth Order round one.

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I wonder if there will be more?

Even if not this will surely make the dodgy peeps think twice about London as an option to store all those ill gotten gains.

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 "Mr A applied to settle in the UK under the visa scheme for wealthy investors" 

Doesn't say whether Mr A or Mrs A were successful in buying their safe refuge.

 

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6 minutes ago, Riedquat said:

Whilst this will almost certainly get someone who is corrupt it all smacks very much of "prove your innocence."

We disagree on a number of things, but on this we are in complete agreement.

This country is sliding down the slippery slope, past surveillance state towards a full blown police state.

Thank you Mrs May, your legacy is assured.

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30 minutes ago, Bruce Banner said:

We disagree on a number of things, but on this we are in complete agreement.

This country is sliding down the slippery slope, past surveillance state towards a full blown police state.

Thank you Mrs May, your legacy is assured.

I would agree if it applied to locals, but this is just for foreign money coming into the country isn't it? The problem is the UK doesn't have jurisdiction over other countries making it hard for the fraud squad to investigate.

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2 minutes ago, Captain Kirk said:

I would agree if it applied to locals, but this is just for foreign money coming into the country isn't it? The problem is the UK doesn't have jurisdiction over other countries making it hard for the fraud squad to investigate.

That's an argument for not letting them in to the country, or at least not buying up lots of property, rather than letting people in then demanding they prove their innocence.

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2 minutes ago, Riedquat said:

That's an argument for not letting them in to the country, or at least not buying up lots of property, rather than letting people in then demanding they prove their innocence.

I guess that would require a lot of background checks.

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4 minutes ago, Captain Kirk said:

I guess that would require a lot of background checks.

Not really, plenty of other countries manage it and don't have the same issues with property being bought up by foreign nationals. They also probably don't have the same degree of an overheated property market. May be a connection there, wonder if they view houses as places to live in rather than investments (if you want to invest in housing buy shares in a building firm)?

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1 hour ago, Riedquat said:

 it all smacks very much of "prove your innocence."

It is the standard approach for HMRC, there is no accusation of criminal behaviour just a statement wanting clarification.

 

Personally the same should be done for offshore holdings too.

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6 minutes ago, Riedquat said:

Not really, plenty of other countries manage it and don't have the same issues with property being bought up by foreign nationals. They also probably don't have the same degree of an overheated property market. May be a connection there, wonder if they view houses as places to live in rather than investments (if you want to invest in housing buy shares in a building firm)?

It seems to me most countries now suffer from houses being treated as investments, unfortunately.

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2 hours ago, Captain Kirk said:

I would agree if it applied to locals, but this is just for foreign money coming into the country isn't it? The problem is the UK doesn't have jurisdiction over other countries making it hard for the fraud squad to investigate.

Why should anyone care if an already wealthy foreigner, who has profited handsomely from simply owning UK property, mainly at the expense of young Brits, suffers a miscarriage of justice?

F*** 'em.  Hope they lose everything.

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10 minutes ago, hotblack42 said:

Why should anyone care if an already wealthy foreigner, who has profited handsomely from simply owning UK property, mainly at the expense of young Brits, suffers a miscarriage of justice?

F*** 'em.  Hope they lose everything.

Not often I agree with you, but on this I am in 100% agreement 

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6 hours ago, Riedquat said:

Whilst this will almost certainly get someone who is corrupt it all smacks very much of "prove your innocence."

 

If you have £80m legitimately it should be relatively straightforward to demonstrate where you got it. If you are a minister in a developing country and have never held a job paying more than £100k it may be rather hard. 

No one is going to be found guilty of a crime on this alone but if you can't show where you accumulated huge wealth from it is probably not legitimate. And almost certainly when it doesn't tally with your tax returns. 

As far as we can see, in both cases it is being used in relation to known or suspected crime. It's not a random charge against legitimate wealth.

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Plenty of other countries manage, because they tax wealth and property. So buy a hugely expensive property in New York - you'll pay a huge whack on it every year. The cost to just own a property in the UK is tiny for these millionaires. 

For a long time we in the UK have paid zero interest in where your wealth/income comes from. That is why the rich has flocked here. No other (major) country let's the rich off so easy - most will want to tax the things you own in that country - even the 'low tax' USA. The rest will also want to know where your money comes from, so they can tax you on your income - if you want to live there. 

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1 UWO against a wife of a man who is already serving a jail sentence is Azerbaiijan?!  Is that really newsworthy? 

Just scratching the surface there, if I was a money-launderer reading such news, I'd laugh it off and carry on.

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Twitter mentioning someone in the political spotlight . Could not be A Banks? That would be wishful thinking . 

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21 hours ago, Captain Kirk said:

I would agree if it applied to locals, but this is just for foreign money coming into the country isn't it? The problem is the UK doesn't have jurisdiction over other countries making it hard for the fraud squad to investigate.

I'm not sure it is, any more than anti terrorism laws are, in practice, confined to terrorists.

If a law is on the statute book it is likely to be used in cases other than those for which it was intended.

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The problem here I think is that the UWOs are being instructed by the National Crime Agency, not by a body like HMRC who also have the right to issue them. So, two issued so far, and both for political figures investing close to £100mn in property in london.

Surely these two people stood out like a sore thumb? And perhaps there are a few others in the same boat... But I won't be getting excited til HMRC start using this power as a regular tool. Surely it can't be too difficult to compile a list of properties owned by overseas corporations from the land registry, paste it into excel, sort it so the highest values are at the top then start issuing UWOs systematically or randomly down the list. 

People who own a business expect an HMRC visit every so often, whether it's for payroll, Vat or export/import checks, why shouldn't companies holding property expect the same for their capital funding? 

The other issue here is that anyone who has bought a property recently knows there are tight controls over money laundering checks when taking out a mortgage. So presumably this problem with laundered property money is now just a large population of old property transactions from before those changesfor HMRC to work through. If not then its a live issue with solicitors not doing their money laundering checks properly.... Which should mean jail time for them as well. 

 

Edited by regprentice

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Regarding money laundering....how come some can launder millions, and others find it hard to withdraw a few pounds cash of their hard earned money from their own bank accounts without the Spanish inquisition from a bank teller?.....;)

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