The cause of crime
What can we do to the criminal to make sure he doesn’t commit another crime? There are alternatives to prison such as community service in which he will provide some assistance to those around him. Or he can pay a large fine. Alternatively, we could establish a more severe system of punishment, including corporal one and capital punishment, but we like to consider ourselves humane and the idea of beating or executing someone is revolting to us.
We need to be tough not on the criminal, but on the cause of the crime. We should spend less of the taxpayer’s money funding the judges and lawyers and other people who work for the legal system, and put the money instead into supporting impoverished areas which are the breeding grounds for crime. We consider that everybody needs a good chance in life. This is a good step forward for the next generation.
Hundreds of properties could be seized in UK corruption crackdown
Hundreds of British properties suspected of belonging to corrupt politicians, tax evaders and criminals could be seized by enforcement agencies under tough new laws designed to tackle London’s reputation as a haven for dirty money. Huge amounts of corrupt wealth are laundered through the capital’s banks. Much of it ends up in real estate, and in other assets such as luxury cars, art and jewelry.
The criminal finances bill is designed to close a loophole which has left the authorities powerless to seize property from overseas criminals. It will introduce the concept of “unexplained wealth orders”. The Serious Fraud Office, HM Revenue and Customs and other agencies will be able to apply to the high court for an order forcing the owner of an asset to explain how they obtained the funds to purchase it. The orders will apply to property and other assets worth more than £100,000. If the owner fails to demonstrate that a home or piece of jewelry was acquired using legal sources of income, agencies will be able to seize it.
The law targets not just criminals, but politicians and public officials, known as “politically exposed persons”. There are some hundreds of properties in the UK strongly suspected to have been acquired with the proceeds of corruption. This will provide low-hanging fruit for immediate action by law enforcement agencies, if those agencies are properly resourced. Unexplained wealth orders will also help expose the owners of properties. Most owners of these companies hide behind anonymous trusts, or nominee directors and shareholders. In a single 50-storey apartment complex in London a quarter of the flats are held through offshore companies. Those targeted will not need to be resident in the UK. As long as their assets are in the UK, an order can be enforced. The law will apply to property acquired before it is introduced.
The bill also contains stronger seizure and forfeiture powers designed to make it easier for police and investigators to freeze bank accounts and confiscate assets such as jewelry and art, which are harder to seize under current laws.
“We will not stand by and watch criminals use the UK to launder their dirty money or fund terrorism,” said the security minister. “This legislation will ensure the UK is taking a world-leading role in cracking down on corruption and send a clear message to criminals - we will take your liberty and your money.”
Campaigners say that for the new law to be effective, agencies must be given the financial and political support to take powerful and wealthy individuals to court. The UK has a responsibility to ensure that any stolen wealth flowing into the country is stopped, frozen, and ultimately returned to the people from whom it was stolen.
(Adapted from: https://www. thenews. com. pk/print/ 1 5 7 099-H undreds-of-propertieS-co uld-be-seized-in- UK-corruption-crackdownsrc =ilaw)
Why does London have a reputation of a haven for dirty money?
What changes would be expected after passing the criminal finances bill?
How could the UK benefit from passing the new law?
According to the text what do “unexplained wealth orders” mean?
The following agencies in the UK are responsible for implementing the criminal finances legislation EXCEPT:
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Brexit could damage UK's fight against corruption, says OECD
Brexit could damage the UK’s efforts to tackle corruption and (17) _____ over the British government in bribery cases, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has warned.
Business pressure to weaken bribery laws and an inability by the government to focus on non-Brexit issues are both risks associated (18) ______, according to a new report by the group.
While acknowledging the UK’s “solid progress” in pursuing recent bribery investigations, the report warned that the proportion of cases relative (19) ______ global finance was low.
“Efforts must be sustained to improve (20) ______ and achieve stronger enforcement of its anti-bribery legislation,” it said.
The report praises the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) for (21) ______ including a multimillion-pound settlement with the engineering giant Rolls-Royce earlier this year.
However, (22) ______ told the report’s authors they were concerned that “Brexit could increase the risk of UK companies threatening to relocate and potential loss of UK jobs as a bargaining chip in negotiations with prosecutors over charges”.
(Adapted from: https://www. theguardian.com/business/ZO] 7/mar/23/brexit-uk-corruption-oecd-bribery-laws)