Unexplained wealth order

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An unexplained wealth order (UWO) is a type of court order issued by a British court to compel someone to reveal the sources of their unexplained wealth.[1] Persons who fail to account are liable to have assets seized after the National Crime Agency makes a successful appeal to the High Court. The first Unexplained Wealth Order was issued in 2018, to Zamira Hajiyeva, the wife of Jahangir Hajiyev, the former chairman of the International Bank of Azerbaijan.[2]

The power of UWOs in fighting money laundering lies in their reverse onus principle. Consistently, information obtained in the context of an UWO cannot be used in a criminal proceeding.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Circular 003/2018: unexplained wealth orders". GOV.UK. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  2. ^ Casciani, Dominic (10 October 2018). "Woman who spent £16m in Harrods revealed". BBC News. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  3. ^ "How The Unexplained Wealth Order Combats Money Laundering". forbes.com. Retrieved 31 October 2018.