Money Laundering

Meeting: 
Plenary on 2006-11-08
Session date: 
November 8, 2006
Reference: 
2006/0308
Question By: 
Murad Qureshi
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
Sir Ian Blair (Police Commissioner) and Len Duvall (Chair, MPA)

Question

Can you please explain the processes for investigating money laundering and advise me how many arrests have been made under such activity in London in the past 12 months?

Answer

Answer for Money Laundering

Answer for Money Laundering

Answered By: 
Sir Ian Blair (Police Commissioner) and Len Duvall (Chair, MPA)

Money Laundering became a distinct criminal offence, or rather a number of related offences, by virtue of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA). In effect the Act made it an offence to deal in any way with any benefit accrued through crime.

The MPS has developed a clear strategy for the mainstreaming of POCA within the MPS, with resources on borough and within the various specialisms looking at the movement of money and other proceeds of crime. There is a focus on money laundering, as it is a criminal lifestyle offence that triggers confiscation. The majority of the incentivisation funding from POCA is being funneled into creating a POCA infrastructure.

An investigation into money laundering is effectively taking place when any investigation into serious acquisitive crime is being conducted The aspiration under the MPS POCA plan is to look at the money laundering aspect of all acquisitive crime at all levels of policing and criminality.

In common with other types of crime the MPS structure and processes allow for more complex money laundering investigations to be undertaken by different specialist units within a number of MPS Directorates. The SCD6 Money Laundering Investigation Team has particular expertise and they undertake the most complex cases and are conducting innovative investigations around criminal money.

The number of arrests for money laundering across the MPS is not readily or easily available and as stated above most offences will have suspicion of money laundering attached but individuals may not be specifically arrested for that offence ' although they may later be prosecuted for money laundering based on the evidence presented to the CPS. As a guide to activity in the MPS there were 245 persons charged with money laundering and 374 cash seizures (usually a person is arrested for money laundering at the time they have cash seized from them) for the 12 months ending August 2006 (figures obtained from the Joint Asset Recovery Database).

This year at the half-year point the MPS had seized £7.5 million in cash, restrained £32 million and had £13.5 million ordered forfeit and confiscated by the courts.