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Student hands over half a million pounds to crime agency

08 February 2019

A London student, who paid £390,000 upfront in rent for a Knightsbridge penthouse must hand over nearly half a million pounds following an investigation by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA).

Freezing orders for three HSBC accounts held by 22-year-old Vlad Luca Filat were granted in 2018, under new forfeiture provisions introduced by the Criminal Finances Act 2017 – after NCA financial investigators suspected the funds derived from illegal activity by his farther (Vladimir Filat (the ex-Prime Minister of Moldova).

Dad is currently serving a 9-year prison sentence for helping £646m disappear from 3 Moldovan banks. The missing money is equivalent to an 8th of the republic’s GDP.

The student son has no registered income in the UK, and his living expenses were funded by large deposits from overseas companies based in Turkey and the Cayman Islands. Multiple cash deposits were also identified across the UK branch network, with £98,100 paid in over one 3-day period.

After moving to London in July 2017 Vlad Luca led an extravagant lifestyle, which included buying a £200,000 Bentley ‘Bentayga’ bought from a Mayfair dealership.

At City of London magistrates court a judge ordered all 3 accounts to be frozen and for £466,312.72 to be forfeited.

Picture from The Times

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