John Binns discusses Unexplained Wealth Orders with The Times

BCL partner, John Binns is quoted in The Times’ article titled ‘Second unexplained wealth order is turning point for investigators’ discussing the NCA’s slow use of Unexplained Wealth Orders.

An extract from the article, featuring John Binns’ quote*:

‘The unexplained wealth orders secured against an unnamed foreign official in relation to the properties was only the second time that the National Crime Agency had used the power since it was introduced almost a year ago. The first was obtained in February last year against two London properties believed to belong to the jailed Azerbaijani banker Jahangir Hajiyev and his wife, Zamira.

John Binns, a partner at BCL Solicitors, said that the UK authorities “have been slow to make use of these orders” since they became available early last year. He suggested that the agency was “keen to make sure they are seen to use them wisely”.

Mr Binns warned that there was a risk that the reporting of the early use of the power may “obscure the breadth and the context” of the new law. He said that the most recent case seemed to involve someone who was a politically exposed person and accused of serious crime but that the law could also target non-suspect politically exposed people and their family as well as politically exposed people who were associated with a suspect.’

*This article was originally published by The Times on 30th May 2019. Read the full version on their website.

John Binns is a partner at BCL specialising in all aspects of business crime, with a particular interest in confiscation, civil recovery and money laundering under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (“POCA”). His business crime experience includes representing suspects, defendants and witnesses in cases invoking allegations of bribery and corruption, fraud (including carbon credits, carousel/MTIC, land-banking, Ponzi and pyramid scheme frauds), insider trading, market abuse, price-fixing, sanctions-busting, and tax evasion. He has coordinated and undertaken corporate investigations and defended in cases brought by BEIS, the FCA, HMRC, NCA, OFT, SFO and others.