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Money laundering skewing UK property market

  • 21/09/2017
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Money laundering skewing UK property market
An invisible network of money launderers are skewing the UK property market and pricing first time buyers out of many cities.

Research shows that money laundering activity has a significant impact on society as it drives up property prices and increases taxes and insurance premiums while also funding other criminal activity such as the drugs trade and international terrorism.

That’s according to BAE Systems, which has today launched a guide to the common characters involved in money laundering.

The guide aims to help businesses understand the motivations and modus operandi of criminals targeting their business from inside and out.

A significant threat is posed by financial crime. Money laundering represents the fifth largest economy in the world and equates to 3% of global GDP.

BAE said the criminals behind money laundering are finding ever more sophisticated ways of disguising their activity.

BAE subject matter experts analysed customer data to identify the people most commonly involved in money laundering. They are:

The Source – White collar fraudsters and organised crime gangs making illegal profit from their crimes.

The Leader – Leaders are clinging to power and stripping their country of wealth to line their own pockets.

The Bystander – Bystanders don’t facilitate crime but are happy to turn a blind eye while their mysterious client lines their pockets.

The Watched – People on international watch lists who could either be corrupted or facilitate corruption for a price.

The Shark – Sharks enable crime by helping move illicit funds through the banking system, profiting themselves along the way.

The Shop Front – Legitimate-looking businesses that exist to launder money, catering specifically to criminals.


Rob Horton, head of financial crime solutions EMEA at BAE Systems, said: “In today’s digital world, criminals are constantly exploring new ways to find and exploit loopholes in legitimate channels to make the proceeds of crime look like legal tender.

“But the real issue isn’t simply the illicit money, it’s the wider impact of these criminal acts. Money laundering keeps hospitals, schools and libraries from being built as the proceeds of crime contribute nothing to the public purse.”

Horton added: “Launderers are also bending the property market, pricing first time buyers out of many cities. And the profits of money laundering are the cause of organised crime across the world, from drug trafficking and gun smuggling, to fraud and modern slavery.”

The booklet is available at to download at:

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