Author: Nicola Sharp 16 April 2021
As it is four years since unexplained wealth orders (UWOs) were introduced in the Criminal Finances Act 2017, Rahman Ravelli’s Nicola Sharp assessed their impact so far.
In an article, which was published by Security Matters, she outlines how UWOs work and the extensive media coverage that accompanied their introduction. She also summarises the mixed results achieved with them to date.
Nicola explains why she believes that UWOs are yet to justify the faith placed in them by their supporters.
The first UWO – relating to the big-spending Zamira Hajiyeva, wife of a jailed Azerbaijani banker – has gone well for the National Crime Agency (NCA). The NCA also had success with a UWO in the case of businessman Mansoor Mahmood Hussain. But last year saw UWOs obtained by the NCA over property owned by Dariga Nazarbayeva - the daughter of Kazakhstan’s ex-president – quashed, and the agency’s assumptions heavily criticised by the court.
Yet despite the NCA’s mixed success with UWOs so far, Nicola believes it is too early to write UWOs off as being of little use. She states that the use of them may increase, with the authorities seeing them as a tool to target smaller, low-profile suspects.
Nicola's article was published by Security Matters.