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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Our honeypot state

The Mirror has an interesting adnission fron the Foreign Secretary which should give us all cause to pause and think what sort of country we are living in and, more inportantly, why Government Ministers who know there is a problem, have not been doing more to prevent it happening over and over again - until now.

Dominic Raab told the House of Commons that the UK is a "honey pot" for "corrupt actors" who "seek to launder their dirty money". Anybody who has read 'Moneyland: Why Thieves and Crooks Now Rule the World and How To Take It Back' by Oliver Bulloughh will already know this is the case. It is also the basis of my third novel, which is still in draft stage.

Raab made his remarks, while announcing sanctions on 22 people involved in corruption cases in Russia, South Africa, South Sudan and Latin America. They were targeted with asset freezes and travel bans, in the first wave of sanctions under the government's new global anti-corruption regime. Fourteen of those hit with sanctions were involved in one of the largest tax frauds in recent Russian history, as exposed by the late lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

The Government have now taken powers to enable thems to target those who are either facilitating or profiting from such corrupt acts, those who conceal, those who transfer the proceeds of serious corruption and those who obstruct justice relating to serious corruption, and apparently that won't be limited to state officials:

Responding to the announcement, Duncan Hames, Director of Policy at Transparency International UK, said: “Corruption is a global problem that needs global action, so we welcome the UK Government's new sanctions regime that will enable it to act in concert with its allies in the US and Canada. With adequate resourcing, strategic deployment and some refinement, these new capabilities should provide a useful addition to the UK's toolkit for tackling kleptocracy. Now it’s time to put these powers to good use in practice.

“Whilst this regime is by no means a silver bullet for tackling the UK’s role as a safe haven for the corrupt, it is a very positive development. The use of these powers should send a firm message to corrupt individuals and their enablers who have enjoyed the freedom to travel to and invest in the UK, that they will no longer be welcome here.”

We will see if this makes a difference.
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