The Mayor of London has urged ministers to immediately seize the assets of Russian oligarchs and sell them to fund support to Ukraine.
Sadiq Khan has said property and possessions belonging to Putin allies should be seized before these Russians can have a ‘fire sale’ to dodge sanctions.
The Mayor has called for possessions such as jewellery, designer clothes, cars and property to be taken.
Despite sanctions cracking down on Kremlin-associated oligarchs in London, the Mayor said too many loopholes remain.
One such loophole is a 30 day ‘wind down period’ for companies to conclude business arrangements before sanctions are imposed.
Khan said: “Nobody expected sanctioning President Putin’s allies in the UK to be straight forward, these are some of the richest and most powerful people in the world. But it is completely unacceptable that ministers are offering them such easy loopholes to disguise or liquidate their assets before the state can act.
“London can no longer be a laundromat for oligarchs’ finances. We know there is at least £1.1bn of property in London linked to the Kremlin, along with millions of pounds worth of art, cars, boats and other goods. Meanwhile, Ukraine calls for aid as the Russian army advances on Kyiv.”
It comes as MPs have sought to expedite the process of seizing the UK assets of Putin allies, with a parliamentary debate tabled for Monday.
Under the amendment to the economic crime bill, former Cabinet minister David Davis and opposition MPs want to create a fast-track to allow a pre-emptive freezing of assets in cases simply ‘under review’.
This means assets can be seized in cases when all formal legal processes necessary under current law have not been completed.