06.12.2018 What is “dirty money” and how to tackle it in the UK? Tatiana Svetlova, a partner at Svetlova LLP answered the questions of BBC News Russia.

06.12.2018 What is “dirty money” and how to tackle it in the UK? Tatiana Svetlova, a partner at Svetlova LLP answered the questions of BBC News Russia.

According to the statements of certain detractors, Russian business world is in a panic: British, they say, are going to close access of Russian money to the country, because it’s “dirty”.

First of all, this is not true. Parliamentary report “Moscow’s gold: Russian Corruption in the UK” is not a law. Although, it can become a catalyst for changes in legislation.

Secondly, political motives of British government might not coincide with business motives of British businesses.

And finally, the term “dirty money” is quite blurry. What exactly does it mean?

Ethic and business

If one starts consistently applying a principle of ethical provenance of the capital, the questions would not only occur in respect of Roman Abramovich and Oleg Deripaska, but also Mikhail Khodorkovsky  – determined opponent current Russian regime.

In fact, the matter does not stop with Russian money: what about the British BAE Systems, multinational defence and security company, which has been selling weapons worth billions of dollars to Saudi Arabia for years?

Sensitivity in the business world is usually higher than in politics: less attention is paid to provenance of capital, right up to the point, when there is a loss, including reputational loss.

However, the situation is changing. Major transactions are becoming an object of increasing attention.

Both sellers and buyers are demanding increasingly detailed proof of the origin of both, the object of the transaction and money used to purchase it, notes Tatiana Svetlova, practicing as a lawyer in the UK. Moreover, she has also observed, that whilst this process started only recently it has gained momentum very quickly.

The question as to whether these measures prove to be sufficient remains open.

Political gesture 

Lawyers interviewed by the BBC note that new legislative measures – the law regarding finances of criminal origin – do not significantly change methods and possibilities of tackling “dirty money”.

For example, since this law came into force, only one unexplained wealth order (UWO) has been issued. Tatiana Svetlova explains that this is a quite complex legal procedure, which may only be initiated if there are serious grounds for suspicion. Massive application of such measures is not expected.

Above are several passages from the BBC News Russia. Full article can be found here

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