UK’s International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt says his government moves to bring criminals to justice and recover millions of pounds of illegal assets in developing countries of East and Southern Africa.
According to African Union) and United Nations high level panel on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Africa, in the last 50 years, the continent is estimated to have lost in excess of $1 trillion in IFFs.
Mordaunt remarked that, illicit finance sees ‘dirty money’ diverted away from people in poor countries to individuals involved in crime, terrorism and fraud.
“This not only harms economies and legitimate financial sectors, but also erodes the confidence of potential investors,” he added.
“Financial crime hurts the world’s poorest the most, taking money away from schools, hospitals and other vital services in developing countries. Today’s UK aid package will stop dirty money in its tracks and send a message to crooks that we are clamping down on spaces for them to hide their illegally gained wealth,”
He said small decreases in illegal financial flows will give developing countries millions of pounds more to invest in their economies, helping them to stand on their own two feet and create a more prosperous future.
In the new strategy, Mordaunt says UK will create new centres of British expertise in major financials hubs to tackle financial crime more effectively, strengthen efforts in southern and eastern Africa to recover illegal money flows from crime, fraud and corruption through the courts.
Starting with Kenya, he said they will support countries authorities to bring people committing financial crimes to justice by helping to identify proceeds of crime and seizing criminal property.
“All stolen funds found and returned to Kenya will be used exclusively for development projects, in sectors including education and health. This includes over £3.5 million in proceeds of crime seized by courts in Jersey,”