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UKFIU: Record number of SARs helped to stop £131m of money laundering

The UKFIU has reported a record number of SARs (suspicious activity reports) submitted in the previous financial year from accountants and lawyers which helped to stop £131m worth of money laundering.

Ian Mynot, head of the UKFIU, said the intelligence unit “continued to perform strongly” this year, processing a record number of SARs between April 2018 and March 2019. During this period, 478,437 SARs were submitted, marking an increase of 3.13% from the previous year’s 463,938 reports.

The report also showed a significant increase of 52.72% in requests for DAMLs (defence against money laundering). During the annual period, 34,543 DAML SARs were submitted to the UKFIU.

The UKFIU added during the period it worked alongside law enforcement agencies to deny £131,667,477 to criminals as a result of the DAML requests. This figure shows a significant increase of 153.66% from the previous year, when £51.9m was denied. 

The report also suggests the introduction of Account Freezing Orders, and the extension to the moratorium period enacted by the Criminal Finance Act, are the reasons behind the increase in restrained funds. 

The report also states that future investments in IT systems will be implemented throughout the unit, with the aim to help the process of SARs over the coming year. UKFIU also announced expansion within the unit, with an increase of employees from 80 to 118.

Mynot said: “ It is great to welcome so many new staff, with so much diverse experience. It is also important to thank existing staff, not only for training and mentoring these new officers, but also because it is down to them that the UKFIU has been able to process the increasing volumes and deliver much improved results.” 

 

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