On 17 May, an article from Politico claims that loopholes in Britain’s cash transfer system fuel a surge in crime and drug trade. It says that money remittance and foreign exchange shops on high streets are the lifeblood of immigrant communities who send funds home, but in London, they are also playing a key role in a vicious drugs trade and fuelling a surge in violent crime. London is said to have 9,000 such shops, according to the latest data, but police and industry representatives say the real number is likely to be much higher because many operate without registration. The NCA estimates that at least £1.5 billion in criminal proceeds are laundered through MSB in the UK every year, the majority of it in London. In February, the NCA published an Amber Alert to warn registered MSB that serious organised crime networks were specifically targeting the sector for its weaknesses in detecting dirty cash. Another problem highlighted is that responsibility for cleaning up the sector lies with 3 institutions that only rarely work together: HMRC; the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which oversees most companies in the finance sector; and the police.
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