In Great Britain, an amendment was introduced that would allow confiscation of some assets of sanctioned persons

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10 May 2023

On April 27, 2023, Lord Alton of Liverpool, a Cross-bench member of the U.K. House of Lords, tabled an amendment to the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill to ensure that some assets could be confiscated. Lord Alton’s amendment aims to impose a duty to disclose funds and economic resources and enable asset recovery under the Proceeds of Crime Act where there has been deliberate concealment of assets. As such, the amendment “is designed to give the sanctions regime proper teeth and to deal with dirty money.”


Lord Alton’s amendment would require all designated individuals to declare any assets they control in the U.K. to the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI). Furthermore, they would also be required to provide a list of assets held in the six months prior to designation. According to Lord Alton, “failure to disclose these assets within a specified timeframe would be criminalized as a form of sanctions evasion. As a result, undisclosed assets would be made susceptible to seizure using existing procedures under the Proceeds of Crime Act. These procedures already have safeguards in place for courts to ensure that a person is not arbitrarily deprived of their private property.” As such, the current concerns in relation to repurposing frozen, as are often quoted, whether in relation to the rule of law, due process or property rights, would not apply.


When justifying the need for the amendment, Lord Alton referred to several recent cases of sanctioned individuals who concealed their assets, one way or another, to avoid them being subjected to sanctions. Lord Alton indicated that “the Government have imposed sanctions on nearly 1,500 individuals, including 120 oligarchs with a net worth of over £140 billion. However, to put that in perspective, the OFSI reports that, in total, just £18 billion of assets associated with Russia’s regime have been frozen since the beginning of the war—compare that with the net worth of £140 billion.” 

Sourse: Forbes