How do criminals use commercial property to launder money?

When it comes to money laundering, London and residential property take the lion’s share of headlines, but making dirty money clean is an activity that is widespread across the UK, with prosecutions associated with commercial property common. 

More than £90bn is estimated to be laundered through the UK each year. Research from Transparency International, the not-for-profit organisation that combats corruption, has identified real estate worth more than £5bn as still being in ownership after having been bought with ‘suspicious wealth’.

In November, the National Crime Agency (NCA) recovered property worth £8.1m in the West Country, including a seven-bedroom converted barn and mill holiday-let property in Somerset, a Georgian townhouse in Bath run as a small hotel and a former telephone repeater station. These businesses generated a combined rental and commercial income of more than £2m. NCA investigators believe the portfolio was acquired through mortgage fraud and drug dealing. 

Read the full article by Jerry Walters, Managing Director at FCS, on Property Week