Steps for Reporting Money Laundering

September 25, 2013

If you suspect that a customer is behaving suspiciously and that money laundering could be potentially taking place, it’s important that you report this to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). You don’t need proof, as it’s a crime to suspect money laundering and not report it. In the business, there should be a ‘nominated officer’ that evaluates concerns. He or she will decide whether or not to make a Suspicious Activity Report.


This means the suspected monetary transaction will be suspended until further notice. In instances where it isn’t practical or safe to perform that action, the report will need to be made as soon as possible, after the transaction is complete.


SOCA will receive the report and analyse its contents. Any important information will be passed on to the police, so the law enforcement can take the necessary steps.


How To Submit A Suspicious Activity Report


There are many ways to do this, but it’s recommended that you do it electronically, through the SOCA online system, as it’s the quickest and easiest method. The whole online system is completely secure, available at all times of the day, and supported with helpful text. Once the report has been submitted, the officer will receive an acknowledgement via email. This will contain a reference number which you can quote to the police, if you’re accused of being criminally complicit in money laundering by not reporting.


It’s a good idea to set up an account on the SOCA website first. You will receive two separate activation codes and it’s exceptionally important that you keep both safe. Afterwards, you can log in to report any suspicions of money laundering. Fill in as much information as you possibly can and remember to save as you go along, so you don’t lose work.


You must fill-in the following information: the personal details of the person in question, including address; the account or policy number and the details of the transaction; information about why you suspended the transaction and why you think it may be a criminal act; and finally, the date and time when the suspicious transaction occurred. Where possible, you should also include the person’s National Insurance number, VAT registration, and contact details.


Always save a separate copy of the report you’re writing by printing it off and filing it safely. These documents should be kept under lock and key for at least five years.


Getting Consent To Proceed


Wait until you receive word from SOCA before you take any drastic steps. State to SOCA that you’re waiting for their consent. You should receive their answer within a few days, but they have a week to get back to you. If you hear no response from them within this time, you can legally go forward with the transaction.


If SOCA refuses permission to proceed within the seven day deadline, they have a further 31 days to take action.