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Cases we have handled

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Money laundering "Cuckoo Smurfing" Prosecution

We were retained to investigate an allegation of "Cuckoo smurfing". In this case, our client was accused of laundering the proceeds of crime committed by the husband of a friend. Our client, during a vulnerable point in her life was befriended by the mother of her daughters school friend and persuaded to allow the proceeds of the sale of a property to be passed through her bank account. The property was actually owned by the husband of this friend and he was convicted of receiving stolen goods in a very substantial car theft prosecution. We were able to demonstrate that the client had obtained no financial benefit from the transaction and the court accepted that she was an innocent victim of deception. Re - F

Money Laundering through a travel agency

♦ We acted as expert advisors to part of the legal team in one of the UK's largest money laundering prosecutions. Our solicitors client was the part owner of a travel agency that had a number of offices in the midlands and north of England. They specialise in arranging trips to the Hajj in Saudi Arabia, but also operated what is called hawala banking which is a type of alternative remittance system that has operated for many years in the Indian sub-continent. In effect the travel agents were acting like a bureau de change and the issue we were asked to address was whether at that time they were in fact part of the regulated financial sector and had to follow the anti-money laundering regulations that were in force at that time. Re A

Anti-Money laundering Systems Review

♦ We were instructed by the London branch of a major Spanish bank to review their anti-money laundering systems and controls.

The review covered the following areas:-

  • A review of a substantial number of client files, which revealed weaknesses in Customer Due Diligence
  • create new systems in relation to Customer Due Diligence
  • Create special systems for dealing with Politically Exposed Persons
  • Create new transactional analysis systems
  • Create a Compliance Manual for the branch operation
  • Create an operating manual for the Money Laundering Compliance Officer
  • Create a format for the MLRO's annual report
  • Train staff at all levels including senior management on AML procedures
Re: BS