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The Great British Money Launderette: At Least 19 Uk Firms Under Investigation For Alleged Conspiracy To Make $20Bn Of Dirty Money Seem Legitimate

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/the-great-british-money-launderette-at-least-19-uk-firms-under-investigation-for-alleged-conspiracy-to-make-20bn-of-dirty-money-seem-legitimate-9797097.html

Front companies in the UK are at the heart of an investigation into one of Europe’s biggest money-laundering operations, allegedly forming part of a conspiracy to make $20bn (£12.5bn) of dirty money look legitimate. The funds are believed to have come from major criminals and corrupt officials around the world wanting to make their ill-gotten cash appear “clean”, so they can spend it without suspicion.

At least 19 UK-based front companies are under suspicion. The scandal highlights how lax corporate rules have made this country an attractive destination for global organised crime. The secrecy company directors are entitled to under UK law is also hindering attempts to identify the “Mr Bigs” behind the scam.

An investigation by The Independent and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, an NGO, has identified dozens of firms in a global web spreading from Birmingham to Belize.

The scam appears to have gone on for four years before being shut down in May by investigators in another of its main centres – the former Soviet republic of Moldova.

Vasile Sarco, an investigating officer in Moldova, told The Independent: “This money was routed from Russia, but the companies incorporated in Britain were instrumental to transit the funds.”

He has sought help from UK organised crime police to help track down the British end of the operation.

..

Mr Sarco said he was close to arresting “four or five” bankers in connection with the alleged scam. He also said the suspect companies had made payments to legitimate British firms from accounts at the Moldovan bank used in the laundry process. The UK bank accounts involved include ones at UBS in London, HSBC, RBS, NatWest and Citibank. The Independent is passing details of the transactions to the banks.

Is this the light touch regulation that Brown was so happy to promote?

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Is this the light touch regulation that Brown was so happy to promote?

Don't think so. This is old-style financial services. London has been preeminent for centuries.

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And these b-stard banks have the cheek to interrogate you when you want to take £1,000 out of your bank account.

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.... an investigating officer in Moldova, told The Independent: “This money was routed from Russia, but the companies incorporated in Britain were instrumental to transit the funds.”

Mind you it took someone in Moldova to spot it.

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Reminds me of the Irish bubble.

1) Let the fraudsters push up property prices with outright fraud and stolen money.

2) Make a fortune out of it and sell our before peak

3) Stop the fraudsters

4) wait for prices to crash and hoover up assets cheaply without competition.

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Could all the property be confiscated and sold off at auction? Note that this is large scale stuff.

So much high-value property creating a new supply, and with demand (from the money laundering brigade) cut off, could force a price collapse!

:)

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