Wealthy Russian oligarchs have written to the Kremlin asking if they can return home without fear of arrest after the Government vowed to use its full force to tackle corruption in the UK, it was reported last night.
The country’s business ombudsman Boris Titov said a list of ten businessman had been passed to President Vladimir Putin, which contained names of individuals who had allegedly fled the country not to be detained there.
It comes after security minister Ben Wallace vowed to crackdown on foreign criminals and corrupt politicians who are said to use Britain as a haven to allegedly carry out suspected corruption.
Officials will use new unexplained wealth orders (UWOs) – which came into effect last week – to seize suspicious assets until they have been properly accounted for.
The move came as London’s role as a playground for Russian gangsters and the super rich has been highlighted by the BBC drama series McMafia.
Mr Wallace said ministers wanted to exploit the success of the programme – based on the factual book of the same name by Misha Glenny – to raise public awareness of the issue of corruption.
None of the entrepreneurs on the list were named or identified by Mr Titov, but he said further applications may come his way.
However, he told the Tass news agency that they had all managed to flee the country [Russia] not to be detained there.
This may continue for decades, and some people live outside for 20 years without a chance to return, as the criminal proceedings continue. There may be no claims against them, even Interpol may take them off the list, but the case in Moscow still continues, he said.
Officials in the UK estimate that around £90billion of illegal funds is laundered through the UK every year.
The establishment of UWOs will enable the authorities to freeze and recover property if individuals are unable to explain how they acquired assets in excess of £50,000.
News Source TelegraphNews