Property market attracts laundered money.
A story that seems to have had its fair share of publicity over the last weekend is that of criminals buying into the London property market with money gained from illegal activities, this was highlighted by the National Crime Agency (NCA)
This type of money laundering is one of a number of factors that is keeping the London property market bouyant, not to say that the worldwide property market is not also being affected at the same time, it is estimated that hundreds of billions of pounds a year are laundered through both the London property and financial markets.
Money laundering regulations have over the years been tightened to prevent money from illegal activities finding its way into so called clean investments such as property, the present day situation with stricter regulations and better communications makes it much harder to launder money than it ever has been.
The UK government has been very proactive regarding offshore companies which have been used to hide the real owners of various property assets.
It can be difficult to obtain the identity of the underlying owners when properties are acquired using complicated offshore company structures, hopefully with the obligation to ensure funds are “clean” being with the advisor on any transaction it should then make it that much harder to do.