Latest News

MHCLG guidance on buying and selling homes during COVID-19

27 March 2020

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has issued guidance on buying and selling homes during the stay-at-home period. Read More...

Self-employed to receive 80% supplement by June

26 March 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak this evening announced a new self-employed income support scheme, comprising a taxable grant worth 80% of their average profit over the last three years. The scheme will be open for three months and will be extended if needed. Read More...

Leaseholders call for Government help with cladding security costs

26 March 2020

Leaseholders in buildings cladded with flammable materials have called for support with the cost of interim safety measures during the Coronavirus crisis. Read More...

London mansion the focus of Unexplained Wealth Order

Tuesday 10 March 2020

A high-security mansion on one of London’s most exclusive roads, owned by companies based in tax havens, has been frozen ahead of a court hearing on Tuesday 10 March.

The property with an underground pool and a cinema is owned by Nurali Aliyev, the grandson of Kazakhstan's former so-called president for life, public records show.

The fate of the property, which cannot be identified for legal reasons, and two others linked to Mr Aliyev's family will be decided in a major court battle. During the hearing, lawyers for the companies that own the properties will seek to have a National Crime Agency investigation halted.

Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs) are one of the UK's newest tools in the fight against suspected criminal money invested in property. The National Crime Agency (NCA)investigators can use the measure to require owners to disclose how they managed to buy a luxury home. If they do not agree with the explanation, they can then ask the courts to confiscate it.

The property is one of three worth more than £80m in total that has been subject to UWOs since May 2019. A trail of publicly obtainable documents identified all three properties, after an investigation by the BBC News, Finance Uncovered and Transparency International.

The documents show the High Court ordered the property to be frozen to prevent it being sold by the two companies that own it: Manrick Private Foundation, incorporated in Curacao, and Alderton Investments, incorporated in Anguilla.

Anti-Money Laundering (AML) 

All estate agents must comply with the Fifth Money Laundering Directive. The purchasing of property in the UK is a common method used by serious organised criminals to launder the proceeds. Spotting suspicious activity and reporting early to the NCA will help them stop it at its source rather than investigations and need for UWOs.

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