MPs To Probe Property Bought With Russian ‘Dirty Money’

MPs intend to investigate the scale of money laundering in the UK, including property bought with suspected Russian “dirty money”.

It has been claimed that £4.4 billion of UK property may have been bought with suspicious wealth, with more than a fifth, or £880 million, purchased by Russians.

The Treasury Select Committee inquiry will also look at terrorist financing.

Treasury committee chair Nicky Morgan said: “It has been claimed that the UK, particularly the London property market, is becoming a destination of choice to launder the proceeds of overseas crime and corruption – so-called ‘dirty money’.”

“Given the threats that face the UK, the effectiveness of the regimes that we use to protect our financial system from misuse have never been more important,” Morgan said.

A report by anti-corruption group Transparency International in March alleged that London “has routinely been the choice destination for Russians with suspicious wealth to move and they have had little trouble doing so, taking advantage of lax regulation and offshore secrecy”.

According to BBC News, the Treasury Committee will also look at sanctions and how money laundering regulations have affected individuals, firms and the wider economy.

In addition, the committee will try to gauge “the scale and nature of economic crime faced by consumers”, how banks deal with economic crime, and consumer data security.

Relations between the UK and Russia have been at a low ebb since the attempted murder of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury using the Novichok nerve agent.

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