UK government announces ‘dirty money’ aid packages

31 Aug 18

A series of aid programmes will be set up to stem the flow of money obtained unlawfully or immorally in developing countries, the UK government has announced.

The programmes will help bring criminals to justice and recover millions of pounds of ‘dirty money’, the UK’s international development secretary Penny Mordaunt said yesterday.

Mordaunt stated: “Financial crime hurts the world’s poorest the most, taking money away from schools, hospitals and other vital services in developing countries.

“[This] 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.”

The UK government did not say how funding much would be put into these programmes. 

But it explained the money would pay to create new centres of British expertise in major financial hubs to tackle financial crime more effectively.

It will also be aimed at strengthening efforts in southern and eastern Africa to recover illegal money flows from crime, fraud and corruption through the courts.

DfID expects the funding to pay for the training and mentoring of people working in law enforcement in southern and eastern Africa. 

The aid programmes were announced while Theresa May’s was in Kenya during a three day visit to Africa.

During the prime minister’s visit to Kenya, the minister for Africa Harriett Baldwin signed an agreement with the government there to return stolen and corrupt funds to the country that have been hidden in banks in the UK.

The funds found in the UK, including £3.5m already seized by courts in Jersey, will be used for development projects for things like education and health, DfID said. 

Mordaunt added: “Even 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.

“Disrupting organised global criminals before they can directly threaten the UK is firmly in our national interest, and will lead to better trade links with African countries by reassuring British businesses that they can invest with confidence.”

Separately, on Tuesday, Theresa May committed £4bn in funding to help African nations crack down on crime.

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