Latest News

Chancellor announces £600 million boost for housing in the south of England

19 August 2019

Chancellor Sajid Javid has announced new investment of over £600 million for infrastructure projects to support the building of 50,000 new homes. Read More...

Northern Ireland housing market continues with annual growth

15 August 2019

House prices in Northern Ireland are showing a continued annual growth of 3.5% compared to the same period last year as according to the recent report released by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Read More...

House prices fall across the South of England despite national growth

15 August 2019

House prices have fallen across all three regions of the South of England for the first time since 2009, the latest report from the Office of National Statistics shows. Read More...

Emerging detection and response tools help to improve printer data security

15 August 2019

Recent articles released worldwide, and GDPR legislation throughout Europe, have highlighted the fact that today’s printers should be treated no differently than any other IT peripheral. Read More...

Share your views on the future of digital identity

13 August 2019

Proving your identity online is often time consuming and repetitive. A Government consultation is asking for your views on developing a secure and reusable digital identification service, to make processes such as reference checking easier and more reliable. Read More...

Mortgage advisors indicate refreshed appetite for interest only mortgages

09 August 2019

Intermediaries say interest only mortgages comprised 20 per cent of new business introduced in the second quarter of 2019, down from a 2007 peak of 28 percent, but significantly higher than five years ago. Repayment mortgages made up almost all the remaining proportion of new business in that time. 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.