What is money laundering?

The simplest definition of money laundering offences is the concealing of money which represents the proceeds of criminal activity or which has contributed to crime. The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) sets out three primary processes:

  • concealing, disguising, converting, transferring or the removal from the UK of criminal property;
  • arranging the acquisition, retention or use of criminal gains or property by or on behalf of another person;
  • acquiring, using or having possession of property acquired through criminal gains where there has not been an “authorised disclosure”.

For each of these offences the prosecution must prove that the property, whether it be cash, a car, or even a house, constitutes a person’s benefit from criminal conduct, or it represents such criminal conduct. They must also prove that the accused knew or suspected this was the case. It is this requirement which leads to lengthy investigations, often examining bank statements and business habits.

Anti-money laundering obligations

It is also a criminal offence under the POCA to fail to disclose laundering offences or disclose a suspicious activity report to the National Crime Agency (NCA) under the suspicious activity reports system. Equally it is against the Regulations and therefore a criminal offence to let a customer or third party know that their activities have been reported.


Anti-laundering obligations are also imposed on regulated financial businesses through the Money Laundering Regulations. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates and supervises compliance with these obligations, and they will take enforcement action if non-compliance is found.


What should you do if you've been charged with Money Laundering offences?

If you have been accused it is crucial that you seek out experienced money laundering solicitors to get specialist legal advice immediately. Getting the best possible advice is vital, and our team of expert money laundering solicitors can help you achieve the right outcome.

MK Law has extensive experience in defending cases involving laundering investigations. This includes cases involving financial crime and multi-agency investigations within the financial system. We have dealt with charges involving the FCA, the NCA, the Police and the Serious Fraud Office.