National Crime Agency
National Economic Crime Centre leads push to identify money laundering activity
Forty-two businesses have been identified as having potential compliance failings in customer checks, record keeping and identifying risk, as part of on-going work by the UK’s anti-money laundering regulatory bodies to combat criminal activity.
The National Economic Crime Centre (NECC) brought together regulators in the legal, finance and property sectors to make sure businesses’ supervisory systems to identify potential money laundering activity were fully up to scratch.
A total of 250 visits and compliance reviews were carried out, which will be followed up with assessments or disciplinary action in some cases. Regulators are continuing to analyse the visit reports to identify any further breaches.
The NECC is also in the process of referring three suspected professional enablers to regulatory bodies in connection with on-going investigations into illicit finance.
Compliance leads and regulators, including HMRC, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Gambling Commission, International Association of Bookkeepers, Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW), Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA), Law Society, , Law Society of Scotland, Law Society of Northern Ireland (LSNI), Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) and the Council for Licensed Conveyancers all upped their usual activity last week.
The organisations were sending a strong message to businesses - we will work together to identify and deal with any suspicious or criminal activity.
Regulators and supervisors received two ‘alerts’ ahead of the intensification week to help spot signs of money laundering specific to their sector.
Money laundering costs the UK more than £100 billion pounds a year. It is used by criminals and terrorists to move funds and pay for assets. High volumes of criminal money flowing through the UK results in a loss of confidence in UK economy which has far reaching consequences for us all.
The NECC, hosted by the National Crime Agency, co-ordinates and tasks the UK’s response to economic crime. The centre shares intelligence and identifies the most effective capabilities across public and private sectors to tackle economic crime.
Rick Kent of the NECC recently said:
“As outlined in the NCA’s national strategic assessment launched earlier this week, regulators and supervisors are vital to our work to stop those who undermine the UK’s economy, integrity, infrastructure and institutions through their criminality.
“Virtually all high-end money laundering schemes, and several cash based ones, are facilitated by the abuse of legitimate processes and services. This work with regulators helps protect victims, organisations and systems from the harms of serious and organised crime.
“The particular aim of the week has been to further strengthen our co-ordinated approach. The NECC is able to unite organisations to make the UK a hostile environment for money laundering.”
Simon York, Director of HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, recently said:
“Businesses in the accountancy, legal and property sectors need to understand that criminals prey on weaknesses, so it’s vital they take all steps to protect themselves. The money laundering regulations are key to that, but there’s still a minority of businesses who ignore their legal obligations. These inspections are a wake-up call that if you continue to trade illegally we will come knocking.”
Reports of suspected money laundering activity should be submitted to the National Crime Agency (NCA). Information about reporting suspicious activity can be found at www.gov.uk/money-laundering-regulations-report-suspicious-activities
Latest News from
National Crime Agency
European police chiefs back NCA demands for tech companies to do more to prevent child sex abuse17/02/2020 09:15:00
Police chiefs across Europe have backed a National Crime Agency demand for tech companies to transform their work to prevent child sexual abuse.
One of “Europe’s most wanted” extradited back to Romania after NCA operation14/02/2020 16:15:00
The suspected head of a major organised crime network has been extradited back to Romania to face trial, following an operation by the National Crime Agency.
NCA secures freezing order over Leeds businessman’s £10.5m property portfolio14/02/2020 11:15:00
The NCA has obtained a freezing order stopping the sale of 17 addresses as part of an ongoing investigation into a Leeds businessman with suspected links to serious organised criminals.
Multi-agency action targets city money laundering12/02/2020 15:43:00
A day of action by National Economic Crime Centre partners will target money service businesses (MSB) at risk of being used by criminals to launder money.
Three men jailed over £500k of cocaine and false documents11/02/2020 11:15:00
Three Albanian men have been jailed over a plot to supply high purity cocaine worth £506,000 and having false identity documents.
‘What am I likely to get for this?’ asked Frenchman arrested flying into the UK to sexually abuse a young girl10/02/2020 16:38:00
A Frenchman who flew to the UK thinking he was going to sexually abuse a 12-year-old girl asked investigators who caught him: “What am I likely to get for this?”
International cricket match fixers and ex-player jailed10/02/2020 13:15:00
An ex-professional Pakistani cricketer and two others were recently (07 February 2020) jailed for bribing cricketers to fix elements of international matches.
Seafood salesman convicted of eelegally smuggling £53million worth of European eels through the UK10/02/2020 10:37:00
A seafood salesman has been convicted of smuggling an estimated 5.3 million critically endangered baby eels from Spain to East Asia via the UK over a two year period, in what is thought to be the first prosecution of its kind in the UK.