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Money laundering on the rise

Recent figures reveal a dramatic increase in the value and number of money laundering cases reported in the UK.

In its latest Fraudtrack report, accountancy firm BDO LLP states that the total value of reported money laundering cases has surged by 309% - from £70 million in 2012 to £288 million in 2013. Furthermore the report, which covers the period from 1st December 2012 to 30th November 2013, reveals that the number of reported cases has increased from 33 to 39 over the same period.

The largest cases of reported money laundering include:

  • £170m laundered through a bureau de change in Notting Hill
  • £52m laundered by a courier in the East Midlands
  • £20m laundered as part of a bogus marriage scam ring in London

While it is possible that the increase in reported cases may be the result of increased criminal activity, the report’s author, Kaley Crossthwaite, believes that the increasing demands for transparency on the financial services industry will also have contributed.

As the drafting process to finalise the text of the forthcoming 4th EC Directive on Money Laundering continues, the financial sector must take great care to ensure that it complies with its due diligence and reporting obligations. There are further developments to come.

Contact Jonathan Fisher QC

If you are the subject of a money laundering investigation or require specialist advice on any other issue of corporate, regulatory or financial crime, contact Jonathan Fisher QC on +44 (0)20 7427 463 or click here to make an electronic enquiry.

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The views expressed in this article represent those of the author and not Bright Line Law.

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