The director of public prosecutions, Ms Alison Saunders, has confirmed finalisation of plans forming part of a new drive in England and Wales to clamp down on criminals hiding assets in other countries (to prevent their loss upon conviction).

It has been established that six specialist lawyers will be sent to foreign countries in order to work with that country’s authorities in the hope of preventing further assets being hidden and also recovering those believed to have been hidden. Two of the lawyers have been determined as being located in Spain and Dubai but the other four locations have yet to be affirmed. Ms Saunders revealed that there are hopes of at least £10 million being recovered initially from convicted tax evaders, drug ‘lords’, and other corrupt individuals.

Monies recovered from the convicted criminals will either be given to the victims of their crimes by way of compensation or, if there are no victims, deprive the convicted of their money / assets by way of preventing them from being given the opportunity to re-invest that money into further criminal use.

Ms Saunders identified the recovery/prevention of hidden assets in one of her first key announcements as Director of Public Prosecutions when she was appointed 3 months ago.

One of the six specialist lawyers will be positioned in Spain, joining another prosecutor who is already located there. There has always been a close connection between UK criminals and Spain. It is not completely understood why, although it is thought that perhaps the geographic location is a main factor. Both of the UK prosecutors positioned there will assist the Spanish authorities to enforce UK Orders and will continue to work with the authorities to ensure that UK legislation, processes and procedures are followed in order to enable the UK to recover the maximum number of assets from Spain.

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