Post by Sapphire Capital on Oct 23, 2018 23:11:07 GMT 4
The English High Court has dismissed an application to discharge an "unexplained wealth order" ("UWO") against the wife of the former chairman of the International Bank of Azerbaijan. The respondent will now be required to provide a statement explaining how she acquired her interest in an £11.5 million property. What Is a UWO?
UWOs are an investigatory tool under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 ("POCA 2002"), as amended by the Criminal Finances Act 2017. A UWO is a court order requiring an individual (the "respondent") to explain the nature and extent of their interest in a specified property and the source of the funds used to acquire it. On the application of a law enforcement agency, the court may grant a UWO if it is satisfied that:
there is reasonable cause to believe that the respondent holds the property and the value of the property is greater than £50,000; there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the known sources of the respondent's lawfully obtained income would have been insufficient for the purposes of enabling the respondent to obtain the property; and the respondent is a politically exposed person ("PEP") or there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the respondent, or a person connected with the respondent, is, or has been, involved in serious crime (whether in the UK or overseas).
Failure to comply with the UWO within the specified period will give rise to a rebuttable presumption that the respondent's interest in the property is recoverable property under POCA 2002.
General information only, this is no legal or financial advice or legal opinion and no solicitation or offering of services. Use of posted information should be contingent on your counsel advise on a case by case basis.