The UK Time newspaper has reported today (11/01/2019) that the National Crime Agency said yesterday.
- a record number of suspected dirty money cases were reported last year as awareness of Britain’s role in high-end financial crime grows,
The number of suspicious activity reports
- rose by about 10 per cent to 463,938 during 2017-18,
- with a 20 per cent rise to 22,196 in cases linked to potential money laundering.
There were 40 arrests in 28 inquiries, and the National Crime Agency (NCA) said that interventions stopped £52 million being flushed through the UK.
There were signs that some sectors previously exploited were becoming more conscious of their responsibilities to report suspect transactions.
Reports made by
- High value dealers, such as fine art and jewellery outlets, made 249 reports, a 30 per cent increase on 2016-17.
- Education providers such as public schools reported 35 cases compared with eight in the previous 12 months.
Concerns remain that
- lawyers, accountants and tax advisers, some of whom provide professional services to criminals, made only 7,800 reports, 1.68 per cent of the total.
- Almost 3,000 cases were forwarded to the National Terrorist Financial Investigation Unit because of concerns that suspect money was linked to terrorist groups.
Donald Toon, of the NCA, said
- that reporting suspicious cash flows “enhances the intelligence picture against serious and organised crime threats”.
Ava Lee, an anti-corruption campaigner at Global Witness, said:
- “Even though the UK as a whole appears to slowly be waking up to the scale of its dirty money problem, lawyers and accountants — the gatekeepers of the financial system — are asleep on the job.
- It’s frankly laughable that legal professionals made only 0.5 per cent of the reports submitted, even lower than last year
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