The director of public prosecutions, Alison Saunders, is to recruit six specialist lawyers to recover criminal assets overseas.

Speaking at a joint UK-Spain forum in Madrid, Saunders will pledge to ‘ramp up’ the Crown Prosecution Service’s response to asset recovery overseas.

‘Asset recovery advisers will be dedicated not just to enforcing individual confiscation orders, but also to assisting in changing the legal and operational environment in those countries, to better allow for many more illicit assets to be recovered,’ she will say.

Saunders (pictured) will announce two specialist prosecutors to be stationed in Spain and the United Arab Emirates dedicated to recovering the assets of British criminals.

Criminal Justice System data has identified £200m of criminal assets in the UAE and Spain. Around 60% of the Spanish Asset Recovery Office’s work is related to British cases.

The CPS has prioritised 12 cases worth £10m in recoverable British criminal assets in Spain and Dubai. 

‘The UK is the only western jurisdiction, to our knowledge, to have assets restrained in the UAE, currently valued at approximately 3.6m dirhams (£590,000).

‘In Spain there are a number of properties that are restrained and due to be sold, including in Marbella and Benidorm, and significant sums of cash in bank accounts that have been identified for action,’ Saunders will say.

The other four lawyers will be stationed in countries to be announced shortly.

‘We must and will ensure that we recover the ill-gotten gains of fraudsters, drugs barons and terrorists, wherever they are hidden around the world. International cooperation will be vital to this progress, and I look forward to the challenging work we have ahead,’ she will say.

Attendees at the conference will include the Spanish secretary of state for security, Francisco Martínez, and senior prosecutors and law enforcement officers.