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Over £300,000 recovered from accounts suspected of use in money laundering

Last modified: 27 October 2020 at 09:49am

Investigation by North Yorkshire Police after reports of investment scam.

After receiving information about a company that was suspected of laundering money from investment scams, North Yorkshire Police identified two business bank accounts which they believed held monies obtained through fraud. Using powers introduced in the Criminal Finances Act 2017, Account Freezing Orders (AFO’s) were obtained on both bank accounts and a frozen funds investigation was commenced.

One bank account contained £210,000 and the other £124,000.

These AFO’s enabled North Yorkshire Police to investigate and obtain evidence into a large scale money laundering network involving two companies, whilst preventing this money from being removed from the accounts.

Following an extensive investigation into the movement of criminal funds through the two accounts North Yorkshire Police made a successful application to the court for two Account Forfeiture Orders to the total of £334,000. These Account Forfeiture Orders allow the criminal network to be quickly disrupted, depriving them of funds despite no one being prosecuted of a criminal offence.

The investigation was conducted by North Yorkshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit and is just one of a number of successful operations using the extensive civil powers afforded by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the newer Criminal Finances act 2017.

Detective Sergeant Jonathan Rowland of the Economic Crime Unit led the investigation. He said:

“North Yorkshire Police will continue to use all appropriate powers afforded to us, be it civil or criminal, to investigate and deprive criminals of any monies we identify as being obtained through criminal behaviour or intended for a further criminal purpose. If someone does approach you with a ‘too good to be true’ money making scheme and the catch is that they want to use your bank account, I would be extremely cautious as by doing so you may well be laundering money for organised crime groups.

“So far this year the Economic Crime Unit have recovered £517,000 from criminals. There are still a number of ongoing investigations where monies to the value of over £300,000 are held or frozen in bank accounts and we hope this will lead to further recoveries. All monies obtained through this legislation are remitted to the home office and a proportion is returned to North Yorkshire Police to support us in tackling the economic crime which affects the most vulnerable people in our communities.”

If you suspect you have been the victim of fraud, call 101 to report this to North Yorkshire Police.

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