A new law is making its way through parliament as part of the Criminal Finances Bill which will give the Serious Fraud Office, HMRC, the National Crime Agency and other agencies the power to requiring an individual to explain the ownership of assets and how they were obtained. This will be the power to apply to the High Court for an Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO).
Money laundering is a big problem. It destabilises financial markets, facilitates organised crime and funds terrorism. The best available estimate of the amount of money laundered worldwide is equivalent to some 2.7% of global GDP.
The NCA are banging the same drum about law firms making inadequate suspicious activity reports (SARs).
The FCA published two very interesting final notices today, one in respect of Sonali Bank (UK) Ltd and one in respect of that bank’s erstwhile MLRO, Mr Steven Smith.
An interesting case report of a successful appeal by a solicitor against his money laundering conviction.
The Home Affairs Select committee has just published an excellent report on the inefficiencies of the Proceeds of Crime Act.
The Ministry of Justice has recently announced that it will consult on plans to extend the scope of the criminal offence of a corporate ‘failing to prevent’ beyond bribery and tax evasion to other economic crimes including money laundering. In recent years, law enforcement agencies have struggled to prosecute corporations for money laundering, false accounting, and fraud.
Suspicious Activity Reports (SARS) may be familiar to solicitors (although not as familiar as the National Crime Agency (NCA) would like according to Donald Troon), but they mean nothing to the average client. However as the latest available statistics show that 354,186 SARS were made in 2014, the chances are that a client is going to face one at some point in the not too distant future. So what do they mean and what effect do they have?
One of the questions I get asked most often as a member of the Law Society’s Anti Money Laundering (AML) Register is how solicitors should deal with privileged material when the police turn up with a production order under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
EU member states will have two years to implement the new Anti-money Laundering directive that came into force on the 26th June 2015.
The directive will apply to a number of businesses, including auditors, accountants, banks and other financial institutions. The changes are designed to strengthen the rules against money laundering and ensure consistency of approach at an international level.