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SRA to launch new anti-money laundering assault on hundreds of firms

  • Datalaw Admin
  • Apr 1, 2019
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The Solicitors Regulation Authority in recent times has revealed their plans to write to about four hundred corporations asking them to demonstrate compliance with the government’s 2017 laws.

As regulators, SRA is to demand that hundreds of corporations explain precisely how they adhere with the money laundering rules. Consequent of falling short of these rules attract severe penalties.

Quite a number of corporations are suspected of not enforcing and maintaining these rules which makes them easy prey for criminals and terrorists to wash their dirty money.

Chief Executive Officer SRA, Paul Philip said in a statement that falling short of requirements can expect to follow the 60 or so recent cases that have ended up before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal linked to potential improper money movements

Philip says: The stakes are too high for solicitors to be anything but totally committed to keeping money laundering and the crime it supports at bay. This means taking every chance to alert the National Crime Agency of suspicious activity – a professional’s duty.

Some corporations are already stepping up to the challenge, but it is not quite enough yet. Compliance is not a choice.

Over forty solicitors have been struck out, suspended, or willingly come down in the past five years, due to allegations and confrontations regarding money laundering regulations.

The SRA has begun reviewing how the legal sector is doing to tackle issues regarding money laundering and is expected to publish the results later in the year.

The 2017 money laundering regulations cover about 7000 corporations and are required by the law to have a risk assessment in place.

Over time the enforcement authorities have discovered the legal profession as an apparent target for individuals who fund terrorist activities and those involved in human trafficking and drug smuggling.

The NCA Director, Donald Toon yesterday hinted that lawyers haven't been forthcoming in reporting suspected suspicious activity associated with money laundering.

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