NCA freezes over £100m believed to have come from corruption
The NCA has been granted freezing orders on eight bank accounts containing a total of more than £100 million, which is suspected to have come from bribery and corruption in an overseas nation.
The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has obtained account freezing orders (AFOs) from the Westminster Magistrates Court on eight bank accounts totalling more than £100 million, money which is “suspected to have derived from bribery and corruption overseas”.
The latest freezing order represents the largest amount of money frozen using AFOs since they were introduced under the Criminal Finances Act 2017.
The orders will allow the NCA to further investigate the funds. If found to be derived from, or intended for use in, unlawful conduct, the agency will seek to recover the money.
Approximately £20 million held by a linked individual was frozen following a hearing in December 2018.
“In the last year, the NCA has used new powers such as unexplained wealth orders and account freezing orders to target suspected illicit assets, and we are already seeing some far-reaching impact of this activity,” said the NCA’s Ben Russell, deputy director of the National Economic Crime Centre (NECC).
The NCA did not provide any further details about the suspect funds.
Earlier this year, in unrelated cases, the NCA secured an account forfeiture order against more than £400,000 held in frozen bank accounts belonging to a Moldovan national. Another forfeiture order was granted on money held in an account belonging to the niece of Syrian ruler, Bashar al-Assad.