On February 13, 2020, the UK National Crime Agency announced that it had obtained a freezing order over the £10.5 million real estate portfolio of an individual suspected of operating with organized crime networks. The High Court issued the property freezing order upon application by the NCA, following the agency’s receipt of the individual’s response to an unexplained wealth order issued in July. According to the NCA, the respondent had failed to comply with the requirements of the UWO, and “this non-compliance provided a good case that a number of the properties are the proceeds of crime.”
The freezing order stops the sale or transfer of seventeen properties in Leeds, Cheshire and London. If the NCA ascertains that the original purchases were derived from unlawful conduct, it may seek forfeiture of the properties. A separate order freezing £1.13 million in accounts associated with the same investigation was issued in January 2020. The NCA’s investigation is ongoing.