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NCA seizes £3.2m of unexplained property wealth

The National Crime Agency has secured an ‘unexplained wealth order’ against six properties worth an estimated £3.2m in total.

A Northern Irish woman with suspected links to serious organised crime involved in paramilitary activity and cigarette smuggling has been ordered to explain her property wealth.

Four of the properties are located in London and two in Northern Ireland.

All six properties are currently under an ‘interim freezing order’, which means they cannot be sold, transferred or dissipated while the investigation continues.

The High Court obtained the unexplained wealth order on July 24 and the order was served on July 30.

National Crime Agency head of asset denial Andy Lewis says: “This is the fourth case in which we have obtained an unexplained wealth order. Our investigations are complex and involve careful consideration before we make an application before the court.

“We do not investigate illicit finance based on monetary value alone. This latest order shows that we will act against those who we believe are causing the most harm to our communities”.

National Economic Crime Centre director Sarah Pritchard adds: “We are determined to identify and prioritise the cases which have the biggest impact on tackling serious and organised economic crime. Criminally obtained assets undermine the integrity of the UK’s economy and institutions.

“We will use all the powers available to us to target those we suspect are trying to launder money and will explore every opportunity to deny assets linked to illicit finance.”

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