LONDON: The National Crime Agency (NCA) on Tuesday warned that the United Kingdom (UK) remains a prime destination for foreign corrupt and politically exposed people to launder money, with the biggest sources of corrupt investment being Russia, Nigeria and Pakistan.
In its annual assessment of serious and organised crime, the NCA said, “Investment in UK property, particularly in London, continues to be an attractive mechanism to launder funds.”
The agency had prepared a report drawing intelligence from UK law enforcement, government departments, the intelligence community and the private and voluntary sectors.
The report said, “Money laundering potentially running to hundreds of billions of pounds impacts the UK annually, with a significant threat being posed by the criminal exploitation of accounting and legal professionals involved with trust and company provision.”
“UK cybercrime continues to rise in scale and complexity but under-reporting of data breaches continues to erode our ability to make robust assessments of the scale and cost of network intrusions,” the UK authorities admitted.
It’s understood that hundreds of Pakistanis have invested money in the UK, unknown to authorities in Pakistan. Leaders from almost every major political party have invested monies across the UK, mainly from PPP, PMLN and PTI.
The NCA said that there is evidence that the scale and complexity of organised crime continue to grow despite notable operational successes in the UK.
NCA Director General Lynne Owens said, “The National Crime Agency leads the response to serious and organised crime in the UK, protecting the public and targeting the criminals who have the biggest impact.”
Owens remarked that this year’s assessment shows that organised crime groups (OCGs) were exploiting digital technology, for instance using encryption to communicate, and dark web marketplaces to aid their activities.
The NCA report said that criminal groups seek to make as much money as possible from the suffering and exploitation of others, and continue to put the public at risk.