UK to curb ‘dirty money’ for war in Ukraine

In the latest rebuke to Russian President Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government plans to pass legislation to curb the laundering of ‘dirty money’ that has been used to support the war, reported the Financial Times.

In a LinkedIn post, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the UK stands with the people of Ukraine, their democracy, and will continue to support them economically, politically and defensively.

“There will be no place left for the super-rich linked to Putin’s regime to hide,” she wrote. “More kleptocrats will be hit with restrictions in the coming weeks. Nothing is on the table.

Number 10 Downing Street, home and office of the UK Prime Minister, will introduce an Economic Crimes Bill to require foreign companies that control property and land in the UK to register with the government.

The measure, which was originally introduced in 2018, was designed to stop the 100 billion pounds ($134 billion) of illegal funding estimated by the UK Crime Agency that is funneled through the country every year.

Lawmakers put the proposal on hold as anti-corruption supporters claimed London had become a laundromat for illicit finance.

If enacted, foreign investors who fail to comply could face jail time and be required to sell their interests.

Truss’ announcement came as Ukraine revoked the licenses and liquidated the assets of two major Russian banks, Sberbank and VEB.

Read more: Ukraine revokes licenses of Russian banks Sberbank, VEB

In addition to the banking sanctions imposed by US, European and British leaders, Russian financial services have been further handicapped by the action of the National Bank of Ukraine.

Sberbank is the largest financial institution in Russia and VEB finances the national economic development of the state. The sanctions also include subsidiaries of the banks, including JSC International Reserve Bank, 100% owned by Sberbank, and PJSC Joint Stock Commercial Industrial Investment Bank.

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