The National Association of Estate Agents says the agents named in Channel 4‘s From Russia With Cash documentary may have tarnished the reputation of the industry as a whole, and has launched an investigation into the issue.
Mark Hayward, the association’s managing director, says in a statement: “We do not condone the behaviour of the agents in the documentary From Russia With Cash and it is regretful that a small number of negligent agents tarnish the reputation of the industry as a whole. All agents should know that they have a responsibility to report any potential money laundering activities to the National Crime Agency and failure to do so, or to enable such an action, is a criminal act.”
He continues: “We take a dim view of members thinking they are above the law. Our members agree to comply with professional standards and we operate a range of sanctions to any breach of those standards. In the case of Anti-Money Laundering, members would face a disciplinary process which could involve expulsion and a fine of up to five million euros. As a consequence of this documentary we will be carrying out our own investigation and, if needs be, we will not refrain from taking the strongest appropriate action possible.”