New policy on money laundering

A NEW money-laundering policy has been put in place by Scottish Borders Council to ensure that it complies with all legal and regulatory requirements.

In future staff are being asked to look out for: payment of a substantial sum in cash (over £5000) by a single client in a single transaction or over a short period of time; overpayments or duplicate payments made by a client followed by a refund or a request for a refund; the purchase of land and buildings re-sold with 3-12 months; or the purchase of council assets re-sold within three months.

In a report to councillors this week it states: “All cases where there are genuine reasons for suspicion will be investigated and no time should be wasted once you suspect the council’s services may be being used to launder money.”

Council staff are being told to look out for a number of signs: Is the person’s behaviour unusual in the circumstances? Has the person refused to supply any form of identification and if so, why? Is the activity unusual in itself? Is the activity unusual for a customer? Do I have other knowledge which leads me to believe the customer or activity is criminal? Do I think the property may be criminal?

The officer for monitoring potential money laundering activities has to keep records of reports received and disclosures made for a minimum of five years as they may be used in evidence in any subsequent investigation. The officer will also maintain a confidential log of activities including details of the checks made on cash transactions over £5000.