Estate agents, high street solicitors and accountants who facilitate about £100bn of money-laundering in the UK but are failing to report suspicious activity face a crackdown under a government drive against economic crime.
Security minister Ben Wallace has warned public schools, football clubs and luxury car garages they must report irregularities, pledging to “go after the status” of the worst culprits by focusing on where they spend their illegal cash.
In an interview with the Guardian, he set out plans for the new multi-agency national economic crime centre launching on Thursday, which will prioritise the most serious offenders, boosted by a £48m cash injection and a more intelligence-led approach.
Wallace told the Guardian: “The ones who pretend their hands aren’t really dirty and profit from moving dirty money and knowingly conspire … they’re cowards to pretend they’re nothing really to do with it. They are