Agents told to be more suspicious of those dodgy customers

The Government’s Flag It Up campaign has published an A to Z of AML (Anti-Money Laundering) for estate agents.

It aims to help agents understand the risks posed to them by money laundering and the red flags to look out for.

The new resource tool distils existing guidance for estate agents into a shorter, handy format.

The Government says that financial crimes such as money laundering may seem relatively “victimless”.

But it says the reality is that money laundering is a crime in itself, while the dirty money which it seeks to clean could well be the proceeds of devastating crimes such as human trafficking, modern slavery, drug trafficking, fraud or corruption.

Estate agents play a vital part in tackling these serious crimes and are a crucial line of defence against them, says the Government.

However, the evidence from the National Crime Agency suggests that not nearly enough are reporting suspicious activity.

Between April 2017 and last March, estate agents submitted just 710 suspicious activity reports – despite the UK losing an estimated £37bn each year through serious and organised crime, which money laundering helps to facilitate.

The Government’s Flag It Up campaign has been working with the legal and accountancy sectors for more than four years and last year expanded into the property sector with support from HMRC, which supervises estate agents under the money laundering regulations.

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: https://bit.ly/2tDZ8X0

https://flagitup.campaign.gov.uk/

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7 Comments

  1. Jacqueline Emmerson

    Yesterday a client contacted me to say that their buyer wanted to provide part of the purchase monies in cash, actual cash-not cash from a bank account. The buyer says they have an import business and that they sell wholesale across the country. Having explained that that money wouldn’t be coming into our office I then had to point out to the client that they could be being used to clean dirty money.

    ‘Tax evasion at best I’ll gotten gains from people trafficking at worst.

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    1. Ostrich17

      I hope you have submitted a SAR –  certain posters on here are only too keen to “shop an agent/solicitor” !

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  2. Jrsteeve

    Anything else you want us to do for free?

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  3. IWONDER36

    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.

    Two years in prison for being a hard working estate agent and law-abiding citizen who may have mistakenly overlooked something that they’re not paid to look for, while the people who are actually paid from our taxes to look for and investigate these crimes sit twiddling their thumbs!

    The Third Reich used a legal process known as the Gleichschaltung to control the German population until nobody could trust each other.

    We are an island, a not very big one at that, we also happen to be one of the worlds richest economies, stop wasting money, stop shirking your responsibilities and set up the organisations equipped to deal with crime, money laundering, people trafficking, drug dealing etc….STOP making criminals out of ordinary people while allowing half their town reap huge reward from being drug dealers.

     

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    1. jeremy1960

      and, stop p*****g money up the wall on benefits, handouts and freebies for so many people!

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    2. Local Independent

      Correct! And it will get worse as agents have to lose staff /man hours to compensate for less landlords buying less houses to rent, abolishing fees, more landlords “selling up” due to tax changes etc… …We are becoming unpaid policemen (and women) as well as Customs and Excise and Home Office  officers and getting bashed in every direction for the privilege!

      As has been said above – go for the sources of the money and violence, intimidation etc not some poor agent who has the misfortune to be taken advantage of – the police won’t even come if you get your car bashed in the car park by some one who drives off, so why should we help the state ? Oh yes, it’s because they make the rules!

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  4. JWVW

    Whilst Estate Agents can ‘do their bit’, the Government need to focus their miserable efforts on those who HANDLE THE MONEY. Banks – shifting piles of cash from Dubai and Cyprus, and solicitors through whose bank accounts the hot wonga flows, need to be more vigilant. KYC is all very well, be we Agents don’t handle the dosh!

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