AML gaps highlighted in UWO case
At the end of last week, we brought you the news that a Leeds businessman had to surrender close to £10m worth of property as a result of an Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO).
This case has highlighted some glaring gaps in the money-laundering due diligence measures that some firms and companies carry out with regards to property work.
Martin Cheek, Managing Director at SmartSearch, commented:
“The case of Mansoor Mahmood Hussain, known as ‘Manni’, clearly demonstrates the huge gaps in protection against money laundering that exist in the property market, through which criminals are able to pour millions of pounds a year.
“It also highlights, again, that while some may think financial crime is ‘victimless’ because it involves moving cash through property and banks, the reality is that it funds some of the despicable criminal activity in the country.
“That just one man was able to amass such an amount of wealth through illicit property deals shows how widespread the problem is if you multiply that across the number of criminals involved in this activity across the country and the rest of the world. But despite the threat from money laundering criminals being higher than ever before, the fact is it has never been simpler for companies to protect themselves and carry out the most basic checks, electronically, which would stop it at the front door.”