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In 2018, Transparency International estimated that £4 billion of UK property has been purchased with proceeds of crime. More than £90 billion was estimated to be laundered through the country yearly. The UK was said to be a haven for dirty money. The UK parliament acted swiftly.
In Jan 2018, the UK begun using a powerful weapon it added to its anti-money laundering arsenal, called the Unexplained Wealth Order (“UWO”). A UWO is an order issued by a High Court judge that requires a person to explain the nature of his wealth. gov.uk/government/pub…
The application by an enforcement agency can be made without notice to the respondent), if

- He holds property with a value greater than £50,000 (N25m) and
- There are reasonable grounds for suspecting his lawful income is insufficient to enable him obtained the property.
I believe Nigeria needs its own version of the UWO. I believe any unexplained wealth (property, assets etc) in excess of N10m can be the subject of a UWO application. The point is that if you bought the asset through legitimate earnings, then you should have no cause for concern.
With a Nigerian version of UWO, we can kill two birds with one stone.

1. Reduce the reward for crime by seizing assets obtained through it
2. If proven that the assets were purchased through legit earnings, we can check the person's tax records to see if he/she is compliant.
The beauty about the UWO is that it is a court order. Meaning an application will have to be made by the authorities before that can temporarily seize an asset. This should give people some reasonable sense that if they can provide evidence then they can get justice.
In the same way the UK parliament acted swiftly in April 2017 by enacting the Criminal Finances Act that empowers courts to issue UWO, the NASS must view the recent negative news reports by the @FBI and the data shared as a clarion call to enact our own version of the UWO.
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