Britain is in the process of shutting its doors against public treasury looters from Nigerian and other parts of the world as a new law to clamp down on money laundering goes into effect.
Officials estimate that around £90 billion ($127 billion, 102 billion euros) of illegal funds are laundered through Britain every year, including money stolen from the Nigerian treasury.
Now officials will use new unexplained wealth orders (UWOs), which came into effect last week, to seize suspicious assets and hold them until they have been properly accounted for, the Times of London reported yesterday, quoting Ben Wallace, Security and Economic Crime Minister.
Wallace said Russian oligarchs suspected of corruption will be forced to explain their wealth.
Wallace said he wanted the “full force of the government” to come down on corrupt politicians and international criminals using Britain as a haven.
“When we get to you we will come for you, for your assets and we will make the environment that you live in difficult,” he said.
Wallace spoke 24 hours after Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun said Nigeria and some foreign countries, including the UK, have started the automatic exchange of tax information (AETI), on overseas assets owned by Nigerians.