Latest News

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24 June 2019

Following the last update in 2017, the UK Government has announced updates to the Safeguarding Directions (safeguarded zone) and zoned property schemes for the Phase 2b section of the route. Read More...

Cyber security online training

21 June 2019

The Government worked with leading industry partners to develop free courses to help all businesses understand online threats and how to protect business data, money and reputation. Read More...

Test your AML knowledge

21 June 2019

How well do you know the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations 2017? With the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering directive coming into force on 10 January 2020, are there any gaps in your knowledge and are you working within the law so far? You could face penalties of huge fines or even a prison sentence if you fail to comply. Read More...

2019 sees Bank of Mum and Dad digging even deeper

18 June 2019

The Bank of Mum and Dad (BoMaD) forks out even more in 2019 as family and friends spend an average £6,000 more than in 2018 to help loved ones onto the housing ladder. Read More...

The beginning of a new era

17 June 2019

On 14 June, after several weeks of voting for board and presidential roles, Propertymark’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) revealed who will be taking us forward into the coming year. Read More...

Agents from across UK come together to set direction of travel for Propertymark

14 June 2019

The Propertymark Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place on 14 June at the St Martins Lane Hotel, London, attended by a small group of members, some of whom had travelled from across the country. The Annual Report and Accounts had been shared with members earlier in the month and voting for board and presidential roles had been going on for several weeks. Read More...

NCA investigation secures Unexplained Wealth Orders on £80m London homes

Wednesday 29 May 2019

Three Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs) have been secured on £80 million worth of London homes held by offshore companies which have been frozen by the High Court.

This is second-ever use of anti-corruption orders to stop foreigners laundering cash in the UK in which the National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators are looking into the funds used to purchase the properties.

Interim Freezing Orders held on the homes means that they cannot be sold or given a new owner until the investigation is over.

If the suspect - known as a "politically exposed person" (PEP) - cannot explain the source of the wealth, the NCA can ask the High Court to order the homes' seizure.

The rules for British PEPs were extended under 4MLD where agents are required to apply Enhanced Due Diligence on them. PEPs are individuals that are entrusted with prominent public functions (senior political figures or their immediate family and close associates), held in the UK or abroad.

There is no central database for checking PEPs however, information is available in the public domain (internet searches, websites etc).

UWOs are an anti-financial crime power targeted at foreign government officials and their families from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who are believed to have laundered stolen money through British property.

The measure aims to target people who have committed huge frauds and embezzlements abroad where there is little or no chance of obtaining the evidence to convict them in a British court.

The first ever UWO was used against two London properties believed to belong to jailed banker, JahangirHajiyeva and his wife Zamira Hajiyev who lives in a £12 million London home and owns a Berkshire golf course.

Andy Lewis, Head of Asset Denial at the NCA, said: “This is the second time the NCA has successfully secured UWOs since the new legislation was enacted. They are a powerful tool in being able to investigate illicit finance flowing into the UK and discourage it happening in the first place.

“The individuals behind these offshore companies now have to explain how the three properties were obtained.

“The NCA will not shy away from complex and detailed investigations against high profile individuals and professional enablers.”

Graeme Biggar, Director General of the National Economic Crime Centre said: “The purchase of prime property in London is a tactic used to launder money and we will use all the powers available to us to target those who try to do this. 

“A priority for the NECC is to ensure we explore every opportunity to deny assets linked to illicit finance. Our aim is to prevent misuse of the UK’s financial structures which undermines the integrity of the UK’s economy and institutions.”

Propertymark resources

Ignorance is no defence; you’re expected to know the law and there can be huge fines or even a prison sentence if you fail to comply.

NAEA Propertymark's Anti-Money Laundering Regulations page is a one-stop-shop for agents which provides valuable information and shows what roadshows, events, guides and much more are available.

NAEA Propertymark’s AML – How to comply guide, available to members, will help people get to grips with their responsibilities. To take a look at the guide and other resources, members can login to the members area.