Money laundering is a dirty business.

Criminals employ a range of techniques to clean their “dirty money”. Professionals working in the accountancy, legal and property sectors are being targeted because of their expert skills and services (National Risk Assessment 2017), which can give a cloak of legitimacy to illicit cash. This gives professionals a crucial role to play in protecting the UK’s economy, and wider society by reporting suspicious activity.

While money laundering isn’t always obvious, the consequences are severe. Even accidental involvement in money laundering could mean losing your licence, receiving a fine, or facing criminal prosecution. To tackle this threat, the UK Government is working with the accountancy, legal and property sectors through Flag It Up, to promote best practice in anti-money laundering compliance and reporting suspicious activity.

The scale and impact of money laundering is devastating.

Money laundering is the process by which the profits of illegal activities are disguised and made to appear legitimate. The National Crime Agency’s National Strategic Assessment of Serious and Organised Crime 2018 states that there is a realistic possibility that the scale of money laundering impacting the UK annually is in the hundreds of billions of pounds.

Money laundering is not only a crime itself, but also a key enabler of other serious crimes such as modern slavery, drugs trafficking, fraud, corruption, and even terrorism.

If you’re suspicious, Flag It Up!

If you suspect that money laundering may be taking place, you are legally obligated under the 2017 Money Laundering Regulations to submit a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) to the National Crime Agency. A high quality SAR can provide crucial intelligence for law enforcement and can help to prevent a wide range of serious and organised crime and terrorist activities. Investigations are often based on multiple SARs, and your report could be the missing piece of the puzzle.

You can find further information on how to submit a SAR on the NCA’s website.

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