Press Release / / 03.30.23

Breaking: UK Announces Economic Crime Plan – Experts Comment


UK Announces Major Economic Crime Plan to Counter Stashing of Kleptocratic Assets

Experts Laud Action as “Major Step,” Urge Robust Implementation

March 30, 2023 (London) – The Sentry welcomes the UK’s Economic Crime Plan 2 (ECP2) announced today at UK Finance’s Economic Crime Congress 2023. According to the official UK announcement, the plan is designed to counter the stashing of dirty assets in the UK by “corrupt elites and criminal gangs who abuse our financial system.”

The Sentry has highlighted the urgency of countering illicit finance into the UK from some of the world’s poorest countries and most corrupt regimes, and its experts are available for comment and analysis.

Denisse Rudich, Senior Advisor from The Sentry, said: “The ECP2 is a major step in expressing the UK’s ongoing commitment to fighting economic crime, particularly the additional critical resources for law enforcement. Stealing at home to spend in the UK has been part of the kleptocratic playbook for far too long. Applying lessons learned from the Combatting Kleptocracy Cell to other countries is thus essential in making the UK a more hostile environment for illicit finance. The UK must seize momentum in implementing the ECP2 by adopting a multistakeholder approach and new technology, and championing these efforts as a national security imperative at its topmost levels of government.”

Oliver Windridge, Senior Advisor from The Sentry, said: “The UK’s ECP2 serves both as an encouraging commitment towards improvement and as a salutary reminder that the UK has a complex and oftentimes self-inflicted dirty money problem. The UK’s commitment to truly solving this problem should be assessed not today, but in the weeks and months to come with the plan’s implementation. Make good on the plan’s commitments, and the UK is on its way to impactful change. Fail to embrace the challenge, and the UK will continue to be many kleptocrats’ destination of choice for stashing dirty and blood-soaked fortunes.”

Investigative reports by The Sentry and others have repeatedly exposed how kleptocratic leaders across the world, including from Sudan, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, exploit the UK to spend ill-gotten gains on property, education for their children, and luxury goods while presiding over some of the world’s most serious human rights violations and deepest human suffering.

UK national authorities estimate that over £12bn of criminal funds are generated in the UK each year with the impact of money laundering impact on the UK estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of pounds.

Read The Sentry’s report “Safe Harbor No More: The UK and International Kleptocracy.”

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, [email protected]


About The Sentry

(Short descriptor for press use: “The Sentry, an investigative organization that tracks corruption”)

The Sentry is an investigative and policy organization that seeks to disable multinational predatory networks that benefit from violent conflict, repression, and kleptocracy. Pull back the curtain on wars, mass atrocities, and other human rights abuses, and you’ll find grand corruption and unchecked greed. These tragedies persist because the perpetrators rarely face meaningful consequences. The Sentry aims to alter the warped incentive structures that continually undermine peace and good governance. Our investigations follow the money as it is laundered from war zones to financial centers around the world. We provide evidence and strategies for governments, banks, and law enforcement to hold the perpetrators and enablers of violence and corruption to account. These efforts provide new leverage for human rights, peace, and anti-corruption efforts.