National Criminal Intelligence Services officials announced that 2000 was a record year for receiving reports of suspicious transactions.
But they said that only 77 out of a total of 18,408 were from accountants, representing just 0.42% of all reports. In 1999, the figure was 0.58% and in 1998 it was 0.74%.
Andrew Blezzard, head of NCIS economic crime unit, told AccountancyAge.com: ‘It’s a spiral going down when everything else is going up. We’ve tried to raise awareness among accountants and to say they are affected by UK legislation, which is very severe.’
‘If they’re involved in money laundering it’s a 14 years imprisonable offence. If they fail to report, there’s a five-year sentence. All this legislation is being tightened up in the new Proceeds of Crime Bill,’ he added.
This week NCIS head John Abbot warned of the growing threat of money laundering with the disappearance of 12 indigenous currencies and the rush to ‘clean’ money through a new currency – the euro.
The International Monetary Fund has estimated money laundering to be at between 2% and 5% of world GDP.
The second largest improvement in ‘significant’ levels of financial distress since the EU Referendum was in professional services, found research from Begbies Traynor
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