The Terrorism Act 2000, The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and The Money Laundering Regulations 2003 have broadened the scope of the UK anti-money laundering effort. ALL offences that involve terrorist finance or in which the proceeds of ANY crime are generated are now captured by this legislation.
Furthermore, the regulated business sector has been enlarged to include, amongst others, solicitors, accountants, tax advisers, auditors, estate agents and those involved with the incorporation and management of companies.
The legislation is unequivocal; failure by a regulated business to adhere to the requirements of the Money Laundering Regulations 2003 is a criminal offence.
Professionals now face up to two years imprisonment and/or fine. The damage to the reputation is inestimable, and potentially devastating.
However, the anti-money laundering legislation presents an opportunity for professionals who comply with the regulations to safely undertake high risk business whilst simultaneously reducing the possibility of their systems being compromised. The proper assessment of all new and relevant existing business ensures that you know your client and your client’s business. It is on this firm foundation, not fear, that you will be able to make the correct decisions as whether to proceed or not.