- The immediate introduction of a failure to prevent economic crime offence to complement the current Law Commission review into the identification doctrine.
- An urgent amendment to the costs regime for public authorities bringing Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs) under the Criminal Finances Act 2017 (CFA);
- Amendments to the CFA to ensure UWOs can effectively be used where property is held by trusts or by those who are not the ultimate beneficial owner.
- Consideration be given to putting Property Freezing Orders (PFO) on an evidential par with Account Freezing Orders (AFO).
- Consideration of an individual failure to prevent economic crime offence for seniormanagers in the event that a company is found guilty of such an offence, or enters into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA).
- The introduction of a power for prosecutors to apply to courts for directordisqualification orders (DDOs) for directors where a company is convicted or enters into a DPA.
LACK OF CONSISTENCY IN ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING SUPERVISION
Spotlight on Corruption has real concerns about the ongoing issues with the consistency of anti-money laundering (AML) supervision, including low rates of criminal and regulatory enforcement in relation to AML violations.
Spotlight on Corruption recommends that an independent expert review of the effectiveness of the UK’s supervision and criminal enforcement for AML is commissioned by the government in March 2021. This review should look at:
- Whether the government has achieved its stated goal of enhancing AML supervision as outlined in the Economic Crime Plan.
- How the UK performs against international best practice on AML supervision
- Whether the current Professional Body Supervisor (PBS) model is working or needs to be replaced with a more effective and robust model of supervision
- Whether the PBSs are effectively referring suspicions of money laundering to law enforcement and whether law enforcement is appropriately responding to suchsuspicions.
- The factors behind the low rates of supervisory and criminal enforcement for money laundering in the UK.
This review should be undertaken with stakeholder participation, and be published in a timely fashion and prior to the government undertaking the review of the Money Laundering Regulations (MLR) and Office of Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS) regulations which it has committed to do by June 2022.
C.ECONOMIC CRIME ENFORCEMENT RESOURCING
Spotlight on Corruption is concerned that the ongoing uncertainty and insufficiency ofresourcing for tackling money laundering and economic crime creates an inequality of arms between law enforcement bodies and those who commit economic crime.
Spotlight on Corruption recommends that a full analysis of law enforcement fundingneeds for economic crime be developed for the next multi-year spending review and that there is transparency about this analysis. Any analysis of funding needs must take intoaccount.
- New resources needed for adequate enforcement of the sanctions regime.
- New resources needed to respond to the fraud crisis created by COVID-19.
- New resources that might be required as a result of the UK losing access to EU-wide security tools and databases at the end of the EU transition period.
- The need to enhance recruitment and retention of relevant staff from financial investigators to top prosecutors, including pay levels needed to ensure this.
- The huge disparity in what law enforcement bodies can pay for legal advice from counsel compared to what defendants pay for such advice.