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What is money laundering?

05 July 2021


Money laundering has become a more serious and prominent crime in the UK in recent years. National statistics show that over a £1billion is lost in the UK annually as a result of money laundering. Money laundering is a term that is used often, but not everyone understands what exactly is entailed in money laundering. Our expert fraud solicitor at ABV Solicitors will be able to explain this to you and give you professional, friendly and expert advice to suit your needs.

Money laundering explained

So what is money laundering? Money laundering essentially refers to the movement of dirty money through the financial system in order to clean in and legitimise the cash. A fraud solicitor will tell you that the UK has very strict and stringent anti-money-laundering laws and regulations to try and tackle this very growing concern on a national and international level.

Our fraud solicitor can tell you in layman’s terms without any legal jargon that dirty money is cash or funds that have been acquired through illegal and illegitimate means. Examples of dirty money would be cash from selling drugs, terrorism funding, theft and bribery. These are a few of the offences that people commit and can subsequently be found guilty for, trying to hide these gains is money laundering in the UK.

The term money laundering comes from the fact that initially criminals who committed money laundering would try to legitimise and clean their dirty money through genuine businesses and the most common business used was through launderettes. This would make it difficult for authorities to identify the true source of the dirty money, thereby enabling the criminals to get away with their crimes.

However on a global level anti-money-laundering laws have been tightened and therefore it is becoming harder for criminals to hide the true source of their cash. There are more requirements to account for all funds in your account when dealing in large transactions such as purchasing a house in the UK. Your solicitor will explain that they will need to verify the source of all your money to ensure its legitimacy. Without this crucial step you are no longer able to purchase a house in the UK.

What happens if you get committed for money laundering?

Whilst criminals are clever and are able to come up with new ideas for cleaning their dirty money, rest assured that our legal authorities and crime agencies are even more intelligent and are able to catch these criminals!

Once authorities catch criminals for money laundering the court process will begin. Our fraud solicitor will be able to explain the process to you. There are a number of consequences of money laundering offences in the UK.

Depending on the severity and the extent of the crime, there are different types of consequences and orders that the court can make. These range from restraint orders, orders to pay compensation for the loss suffered by the victim, and even time in prison. Sentences in prison can range from 6 months to 14 years’ imprisonment depending on which court the trial is held at.

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