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Unexplained Wealth Order Tabled

Legislation that would empower authorities to confiscate homes and expensive vehicles from owners who are unable to explain where the money to pay for them came from will be tabled in British Columbia this spring. ‘Unexplained wealth orders’ target the proceeds of crime. Several nations, like the United Kingdom, have had similar regulations in place since 2017. The success of unexplained wealth orders will rely on how the new legislation is written. An unexplained wealth order substitutes an explanation requirement for the presumption of innocence, placing the burden of proof on the alleged offender. The property will be confiscated if the suspected offender is unable to provide the information or refute the assumption that it was acquired using illegal funds. In the UK, unexplained wealth orders have had mixed results. There have been several failed attempts to confiscate opulent London houses held by citizens of former Soviet Union member states in central Asia.

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