Written 24th February 2014 by Olliers Solicitors

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for England and Wales has unveiled new measures to clamp down on criminals who hide their assets abroad.

Asset Recovery Advisers

Alison Saunders, who became DPP three months ago, has announced plans for criminal asset recovery to become a priority for the Crown Prosecution Service. The CPS will deploy specialist lawyers overseas to work with foreign authorities. The first two asset recovery advisers will be stationed in the United Arab Emirates and Spain. They hope to recover assets from convicted tax evaders, drug dealers and fraudulent businessmen. She said:

“People have been convicted of crimes. They might be tax evaders, they might be drug offenders.

“But what is really important is that we get the money back so that we can either give it back to victims – so we compensate victims for the crimes against them – or if there are no victims, that we deprive criminals of effectively what is their life blood, which is money.

“And it means they can’t go on and put that money back into more crime.”

Hidden Assets

The DPP is to provide further details of the new strategy in a speech in Madrid this morning. She indicated that criminals from the UK have traditionally chosen to hide their assets in both property and bank accounts in Spain and commented:

“That prosecutor will be looking at not only practically how we can help the Spanish enforce our orders….but also how we can work together in relation to our legislation, our processes and procedures, to make sure that we really do maximise the amount of assets that we recover from Spain.”

Another asset recovery adviser will be sent to the UAE and four remaining lawyers will be stationed in “priority countries” which are yet to be determined. Their role will be to work directly with local police to increase the amount of hidden assets taken from criminals.

Ruth Peters

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