Money laundering and terrorist financing
Money laundering arises as an issue whenever we encounter ‘criminal conduct’ that results in ‘criminal property’. The key definitions are to be found in section 340 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA’):
You must also remember the linked issue of terrorist financing which has very similar offences and the same need for disclosures to the authorities in certain circumstances.
Disclosures to the National Crime Agency (‘NCA’)
In order to avoid the risk of personal liability any partner/director or member of staff (whatever your role) may need to make a disclosure of their concerns. The law involved is quite complex and will be covered in our training programme, but there is sometimes a duty to disclose as a result of information obtained in the course of practice and, in other situations, a need to do so in order to gain a defence to a possible charge.
As soon as you think that you have a problem under this heading you are encouraged to talk to [the firm’s Money Laundering Reporting Officer (‘MLRO’)/your head of department/other].
If a formal disclosure is required you will always discharge your responsibility to do so by contacting the MLRO as above. This will cover you against any non-disclosure liability as long as you follow any instructions given to you by the MLRO. You would make a formal report of your concerns [set out how – a form or e-mail?]
Identity checking under the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (‘MLR’)
Quite distinct from whether money laundering or terrorist activity is suspected we are obliged by the MLR to conduct customer due diligence (‘CDD’) on clients. These provisions do not apply, however, to certain areas of litigation, especially when we act for legally aided clients. The policy of the firm is therefore to undertake ID checks as required by our policy in all matters other than legal aid crime cases. You must do so by completing our AML risk assessment form.
Further guidance on checking for beneficial interests and the duties in relation to ongoing monitoring are provided in the publication at this point.
Further guidance on the consequences of non-compliance with the MLR 2017 is provided in the publication at this point.
If you require training on this topic contact [name or title].
You could link here to any training request form in your firm
One of the distinctive features of this publication is that we recognise that the traditional ring binder format will not be the best way to make the manual information available in a growing number of firms. We have therefore provided section 2 – ‘policies and standards’ – in traditional manual format and intranet layout also. This approach is illustrated below with part of the section on money laundering and terrorist financing. We have inserted the links to the external statutory sources that are referred to, but you would need to insert the links internally to any forms or other guidance notes that you have adopted.
SAMPLE – NOT FOR USE