With the passing of the Criminal Finances Act 2017, the UK government introduced a powerful new investigative tool to supplement the arsenal of UK law enforcement agencies investigating financial crime. Agencies such as the Serious Fraud Office, the National Crime Agency, and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs may now apply to the English High Court to seek an order compelling the owner of certain property to explain the details of their ownership, how that ownership was financed, and any other information the applying agency seeks in relation to that property. A failure to provide adequate explanations may lead to the confiscation of that property by the state.
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