As the global pandemic continues, most people are busy trying to figure out how to keep doing their jobs in this strange new world of lockdowns and social distancing. Unfortunately, money launderers are no different and financial crime shows no signs of slowing during the crisis.
The Fifth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) was written into UK law on the 10th of January 2020. The property sector – long considered a safe haven for criminals looking to legitimise wealth – is among those industries being addressed by the new legislation.
For many, art forgery is something that only impacts the super-rich and is often seen as a victimless crime. But it actually forms a cornerstone of international money laundering rings, supporting criminal gangs and terrorist groups and taking billions of pounds out of the UK economy every year.
Money laundering is getting a lot of publicity lately. Just last week, ten suspected members of an organised crime group were arrested on suspicion of flying over £15m out of the UK, while last year, Zamira Hajiyeva became the subject of the UK’s first ever Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO), after spending an eye-watering £16m in Harrods.
Recently the media has been alive with high-profile stories relating to money laundering.
From the seizure of a £1 million diamond ring to London property agencies being issued with large fines, authorities in both the UK and further afield are beginning to crack down on corruption and failures to meet Anti-Money Laundering regulations.
International efforts to tackle corruption are gaining momentum. The Fifth Anti‐Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) is the latest step in a process driven by the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and EU and UK lawmakers.