British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has introduced the government’s Economic Crime Bill to parliament. The new law will be aimed at combating foreign money laundering.
According to Reuters, earlier measures have done little to dissuade oligarchs from using London to launder money through property and luxury purchases.
– There is no place for dirty money in the UK, – Johnson said in the statement.
The new law is intended to help the National Crime Agency (NCA) prevent money laundering by foreigners through purchases of UK property.
Under the law, overseas entities owning property in the UK will be required to disclose the name of the real owner. Those entities which do not declare their beneficial owner will face restrictions on selling their property. And rule-breakers could face five years in prison.
The law will apply retrospectively to property bought by overseas owners as long as 20 years ago in England and Wales and since December 2014 in Scotland.
The NCA estimates money laundering costs the UK 100 billion pounds ($134 billion) a year.