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Couple arrested in money laundering crackdown

Monday 24 September 2018

The National Crime Agency (NCA) arrested a ‘Politically Exposed Person’ from Pakistan and his wife last week, following allegations of money laundering corruption.

The couple, who supposedly control a UK property portfolio worth over £8 million, were arrested in Surrey and interrogated as part of an investigation over the legitimacy of their source of income.

The International Corruption Unit of UK’s National Crime Agency’s (NCA) described the suspect as former Pakistani Politically Exposed Person (PEP), Farhan Junejo, an ex-civil servant from Pakistan and an officer in the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and his wife Binish Qureshi, according to a BBC report.

After a joint operation with Transparency International, the couple were arrested on Monday, just hours after the Home Secretary Sajid Javid MP, struck an agreement to cooperate with Pakistan on countering financial corruption during his visit to Islamabad to meet Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

In a statement last week, the NCA said:“Officers from the NCA’s International Corruption Unit have arrested a former Pakistani Politically Exposed Person, aged in his 40s, and his wife, aged in her 30s, in connection with alleged money laundering in the United Kingdom believed to be the result of corruption in Pakistan. The man and his wife were questioned by NCA officers and have now been released under investigation.”

The suspect, Farhan Junejo, was reportedly placed under investigation in Islamabad in 2013 and accused of involvement in a multi-million-pound corruption scandal, following which his assets were frozen. His wife was allegedly the beneficiary of funds transferred by her husband through companies in Dubai to a bank account in the UK.

The NCA’s investigation was supported by the UK’s National Accountability Bureau and the Federal Investigation Agency in Pakistan.

How to report money laundering

Whether you're an auctioneer or estate agent, you have a duty to report known or suspected cases of money laundering or terrorist financing to the National Crime Agency (NCA) as soon as possible, by sending a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR).

The NCA's guidance on submitting SARs sets out the information you should provide and the SAR glossary codes you should use, but it's important that you have detailed policies, controls and procedures on internal reporting and have nominated an anti-money laundering officer.

And if you need any additional help, our Advanced Anti-Money Laundering course has got you covered. As well as learning how to identify and deal with Politically Exposed Persons, we'll also tell you how to liaise with the National Crime Agency and file a SARs.