Pakistan key source of money laundering in UK: Report
Pakistan has been identified among three main source countries for money laundering in the UK, according to an analysis by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
The agency found that Britain was the prime destination for corrupt 'politically exposed persons' (PEPs) to invest their funds and the most common source countries of those funds were Russia, Nigeria and Pakistan.
The UK is a prime destination for foreign corrupt PEPs to launder the proceeds of corruption. Investment in UK property, particularly in London, continues to be an attractive mechanism to launder funds, the NCA notes in its National Strategic Assessment of Serious and Organised Crime 2018' released last week.
The true scale of PEPs' investment in the UK is not known, however, the source countries that are most commonly seen are Russia, Nigeria and Pakistan, it adds.
The NCA, a non-ministerial UK government law enforcement agency, found that a small number of UK-based professional enablers, such as solicitors, accountants, estate agents and trust and company service providers, assist such corrupt individuals in laundering their money in Britain.
The overseas jurisdictions that have the most enduring impact on the UK across the majority of the different money laundering threats are: Russia, China, Hong Kong, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Some of these jurisdictions have large financial sectors which also make them attractive as destinations or transit points for the proceeds of crime, the NCA report notes.
It also warns of a Brexit-related spike in corrupt activities between the UK and countries outside the European Union (EU).
The report states, As the UK moves towards exiting the EU in March 2019, UK-based businesses may look to increase the amount of trade they have with non-EU countries.
"We judge, this will increase the likelihood that UK businesses will come into contact with corrupt markets, particularly in the developing world, raising the risk they will be drawn into corrupt practices."