7. What recent estimate he has made of the total value of criminal assets subject to Serious Fraud Office confiscation orders that are hidden overseas.
The Serious Fraud Office estimates that, as at today, approximately £32.1 million of criminal assets subject to confiscation orders in SFO cases are hidden overseas. Sophisticated criminals often transfer their assets to other jurisdictions and misuse legal ownership structures to make recovery difficult, but since 2009 the SFO has managed to recover £76 million for victims of crime.
Given the amount of money criminals have hidden overseas that is owed to the SFO, will the Solicitor-General support Labour amendments to the Serious Crime Bill to increase the power of prosecutors and increase penalties for suspects who hide their assets overseas?
As the hon. Lady knows, that Bill is part of the Government’s serious and organised crime strategy, and it includes measures to strengthen the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and enhance our enforcement powers during the fourth parliamentary Session. Of course the Government will always look at what amendments are and whether they improve the situation, and I am sure that will be case in this matter, as always.