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Ukraine Money Laundering Risk Alert

Written by Robert Barrington on Friday, 21 February 2014

TI-UK has today issued a risk alert on corrupt assets from Ukraine which may be laundered into or through the UK. The alert is targeted at the UK government and Money Laundering Reporting Officers in financial institutions, law and accountancy firms and luxury estate agents in the UK.


Image: Sasha Maksymenko

TI-UK has today issued a risk alert on corrupt assets from Ukraine which may be laundered into or through the UK. The alert is targeted at the UK government and Money Laundering Reporting Officers in financial institutions law and accountancy firms and luxury estate agents in the UK.

Transparency International UK has issued a risk alert on corrupt assets from Ukraine which may be laundered into or through the UK.  The alert is targeted at the UK government and Money Laundering Reporting Officers in financial institutions law and accountancy firms and luxury estate agents in the UK.

There has been a stream of allegations from sources in Ukraine that corrupt officials and resources-resources-business people have laundered their funds through European countries including the UK.  Transparency International UK has previously warned that the UK risks becoming the world’s safe haven for corrupt assets.

The alert, in the form of a letter link to the Chancellor, George Osborne, is part of a coordinated action with other Transparency International chapters, and noted that:

  • The government should immediately remind all relevant sectors, and their regulators, of their obligations to examine money laundering risks related to members and associates of the current Ukrainian regime
  • Financial services providers, luxury estate agents and professional intermediaries should immediately be required to carry out enhanced Know Your Customer investigations if they suspect any connection between their resources-resources-business and corrupt assets from the Ukraine, including all associated Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).
  • Any related requests to transfer assets out of the UK should be regarded as suspicious transactions. HM Government should encourage maximum reporting of suspicious transactions and assets to the Financial Intelligence Unit in the National Crime Agency.
  • Money Laundering Reporting Officers should also be made aware that existing money laundering regulations require enhanced due diligence in respect of any financial transaction involving Ukrainian Political Exposed Persons. This is the case irrespective and independently of the progress of EU financial sanctions.

This has drawn on the experience of the slow international response to freezing corrupt assets in the wake of the Arab Spring. We believe that those lessons should now be applied to the situation in Ukraine.

Here is a message of support to victims of the violence in Ukraine from Transparency International UK staff:

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Read 14111 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 11:47
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Robert Barrington

Robert is TI-UK's Executive Director. You can view his full bio here, and tweet him @TIukED.

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