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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Agents doing "not nearly enough" to report money laundering - claim

The government’s anti-money laundering campaign Flag It Up has published an A to Z which it claims will help agents understand the risks and signs of money laundering. 

It includes 26 definitions of anti-money laundering jargon from customer due diligence to reporting suspicious activity. 

A statement from the campaign, accompanying the new document, says it is wrong to regard money laundering as a victimless crime.

“But not only is money laundering a crime itself, the dirty money which it seeks to clean could well be the proceeds of devastating crimes such as human trafficking, modern slavery, drugs trafficking, fraud or corruption” it says.

The campaign says that based on evidence from the National Crime Agency “not nearly enough [agents] are reporting suspicious activity.” 

Between April 2017 to March 2018, agents submitted “just” 710 suspicious activity reports it says, despite the UK losing an estimated £37 billion each year through crimes facilitated by money laundering.

Now the campaign says it is with property industry experts to raise awareness amongst estate agents to flag up suspicion and prevent criminals from using dirty money to purchase property.

Estate agents could be prevented from trading or even face prosecution if they fail to comply with money laundering regulations. This could result in unlimited fines or a prison term of up to two years.

The A to Z of AML is available to download here.

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