Money laundering is a serious offense, and governments do not take these matters lightly. In the United Kingdom a new law was introduced which allows suspicious funds to be seized without further question. The Criminal Finances Bill is designed to shake up money laundering in the UK, although it remains to be seen how effective this legislation will be in the end.
Fighting Money Laundering With New Weapons
Bringing money laundering to a halt will not happen overnight. Right now there is always a money trail to follow by government officials and law enforcement agencies. However, they are not able to freeze funds unless they can prove that the money is being laundered. With the Criminal Finances Bill put in place in the UK, that situation may come to change sooner rather than later.
With London being the financial capital of the world, it is not entirely surprising to find out that there is a lot of dirty money in circulation. Addressing that situation has been quite challenging, and taking matters to a next level in the legal department seems to be the only way forward. Now that law enforcement agencies can seize suspicious funds, conducting criminal activity will become far less appealing.
To be more precise, the Criminal Finances Bill allows law enforcement to issue “unexplained wealth orders” to suspects of a criminal investigation. In doing so, the recipients of this order will need to provide the source of their wealth. This means including the person or company from which the money was sent, as well as the nature of the business transaction itself.
It is important to note that this new bill extends far beyond fiat currencies, though law enforcement officials can seize other valuable items, including jewelry, artwork, and other assets. For now it remains unclear whether or not Bitcoin would be considered as one of these assets, although that seems highly unlikely right now.
UK Security Minister Ben Wallace commented as follows:
“We will not stand by and watch criminals use the UK to launder their dirty money or fund terrorism. This legislation will ensure the UK is taking a world-leading role in cracking down on corruption and send a clear message to criminals – we will take your liberty and your money.”
Exploitation of financial transactions has become a fan favorite among criminals, both online and offline. In this day and age of digitization, illegal activity takes on a new meaning, and fighting it takes a different set of tools. The Criminal Finances Bill is the first step along the way to fighting crime in whichever way possible.
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