Press release

UK helps Ukraine recover misappropriated assets

UK sends team to Kyiv to assist Ukrainian government with asset recovery. EU freezes assets of 18 Ukrainians.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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UK experts in financial intelligence, money laundering and tracing criminal assets have travelled to Kyiv to help the Ukrainian government recover misappropriated assets.

The National Crime Agency led task force will be working with the Ukrainian authorities to assess the scope and scale of investigations into misappropriated assets and will be identifying the best way for the UK to assist with any such investigations. The NCA team will also identify any immediate impact the situation has on the UK.

In parallel, EU sanctions that impose an asset freeze on 18 Ukrainians suspected of misappropriating state funds came into effect today. The result of these sanctions will be that any assets in the UK which are owned, held or controlled by any of the 18 listed individuals will be frozen, thereby allowing the necessary time for criminal investigations to take place. The Government has laid the necessary legislation in Parliament to impose penalties in the UK for breaching these sanctions measures. HM Treasury will be working closely with law enforcement bodies over the coming weeks and months to ensure that we are robustly implementing these measures, including looking to uncover assets which may be hidden behind complex company structures. Those assets that are proven to be the proceeds of corruption can ultimately be returned to Ukraine.

The UK has led the call for the urgent and immediate imposition of these measures.

By taking action against former President Yanukovych and 17 others, we send a strong message to the Ukrainian government that the UK and European Union will help the Ukrainian people in their hour of need.

Further information

Read more on the full list of individuals subject to the EU asset freeze and further details on how the asset freezes will be implemented in the UK

Read the latest updates on the government’s response to the situation in Ukraine

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Published 6 March 2014