The National Crime Agency, in June this year, published its assessment report on serious and organised crime in the UK.

    This 47-page report comprehensively covers various types of crimes committed in the UK including money laundering, economic crime, corruption and criminal use of internet technology. Those chapters are an interesting read for financial services, as they highlight risks that can be used for criminal purposes.

    The more interesting points to take from this report are:

    • the role of professional enablers in facilitating criminal enterprises i.e. setting up of shell companies, trusts and other instruments providing anonymity (e.g. accountants and solicitors)
    • £1.5 billion of UK criminal proceeds go through money service businesses each year
    • abuse of identity documents continues to be a key enabler used by criminals
    • large sums of money are still being lost to investment fraud (boiler room scams, Ponzi schemes with call centres typically based in Spain, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines)
    • organised crime groups increasingly coerce staff in the private sector into providing sensitive information or facilitate criminal activity
    • Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) are known to favour the UK as an attractive place to invest.
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