Anti -Money Laundering Policy June 2021
5 Disclosure procedure
A- Reporting to the Money Laundering Officer
5.1 Where an employee or Member suspects money laundering activity they must disclose this as soon as practicable to the MLRO. The disclosure should be within "hours" of the information coming to your attention, not weeks or months later.
5.2 Your disclosure should be made to the MLRO using the report form attached at Appendix C. The report must include as much information as possible for example:
- full details of the people involved e.g. name, date of birth, address, company names, directorships, phone numbers, etc
- full details of the nature of your/their involvement;
- the types of money laundering activity involved (see Appendix B, Possible Signs of Money Laundering);
- the dates of such activities, including whether the transactions have happened, are ongoing or are imminent;
- where they took place;
- how they were undertaken;
- the (likely) amount of money/assets involved;
- exactly why there are suspicions; the NCA will require full reasons;
- any other relevant available information to enable the MLRO to make sound judgment as to whether there are reasonable grounds for knowledge or suspicion of money laundering and to enable them to prepare their report to the NCA, where appropriate.
5.3 If you are concerned that your involvement in the transaction would amount to a prohibited act under sections 327 - 329 of the 2002 Act, Regulations 86 - 88 of the Money Laundering Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017,then your report must include all relevant details, as you will need consent from the National Crime Agency, via the MLRO, to take any further part in the transaction this is the case even if the client gives instructions for the matter to proceed before such consent is given.
5.4 You should therefore make it clear in the report if such consent is required and clarify whether there are any deadlines for giving such consent e.g. a completion date or court deadline.
5.5 Once you have reported the matter to the MLRO you must follow any directions (s)he may give you.
You must NOT make any further enquiries into the matter yourself.
5.6 Any necessary investigation will be undertaken by the National Crime Agency. Simply report your suspicions to the MLRO, who will refer the matter onto the National Crime Agency if appropriate. All Members and employees will be required to co-operate with the MLRO and the authorities during any subsequent money laundering investigation.
Similarly, at no time and under no circumstances should you voice any suspicions to the person(s) you suspect of money laundering.
5.6 Should allegations be raised regarding Members of the Council then the Monitoring Officer/Deputy Monitoring Officer should also be contacted.
5.7 Do not, therefore, make any reference on a client file to a report having been made to the MLRO - should the client exercise their right to see the file, then such a note will obviously tip them off to the report having been made and may render you liable to prosecution. The MLRO must keep the appropriate records in a confidential manner.
5.8 Any information containing personal and/or sensitive data which is supplied or processed during the course of a money laundering investigation shall not be processed wider than is absolutely necessary for the purposes of determining whether a money laundering offence has been committed.
B- Consideration of the Disclosure by the Money Laundering Officer
5.9 Upon receipt of a disclosure report, the MLRO must note the date of receipt on his section of the report and acknowledge receipt of it. He should also advise you of the timescale within which he expects to respond to you.
5.10 The MLRO will consider the report and other available internal material he thinks relevant, e.g:
- reviewing other transaction patterns and volumes
- the length of any business relationship involved
- the number of any on-off transactions and linked one off transactions
- any identification evidence held
5.11 The MLRO will undertake such other reasonable enquiries he thinks appropriate in order to ensure that all available information is taken into account in deciding whether a report to the National Crime Agency is required (such enquiries being made in such a way as to avoid any appearance of tipping off those involved). The MLRO may also need to discuss the report with you.
5.12 Once the MLRO has evaluated the disclosure report and any other relevant information, he must make a timely determination as to whether:
- there is actual or suspected money laundering taking place
- there are reasonable grounds to know or suspect that is the case
- he knows the identity of the money launderer or the whereabouts of the property involved or they could be identified or the information may assist in such identification and
- whether he needs to seek consent from the National Crime Agency for a particular transaction to proceed
5.13 Where the MLRO does so conclude, then he must disclose the matter as soon as practicable to the National Crime Agency on their standard report form or via SAR online and in the prescribed manner, unless he has a reasonable excuse for non- disclosure to the National Crime Agency (e.g., if you are a lawyer and wish to claim legal professional privilege for not disclosing the information).
5.14 Where the MLRO suspects money laundering but has a reasonable excuse for non-disclosure, then he must note the report accordingly; he can then immediately give his consent for any ongoing or immediate transactions to proceed.
5.15 In cases where legal professional privilege may apply, the MLRO shall liaise with the Monitoring Officer/Deputy Monitoring Officer to decide whether there is a reasonable excuse for not reporting the matter to the National Crime Agency.
5.16 Where consent is required from the National Crime Agency for a transaction to proceed, then the transactions in question must not be undertaken or completed until the National Crime Agency has specifically given consent, or there is deemed consent through the expiration of the relevant time limits without objection from the National Crime Agency.
5.17 Where the MLRO concludes that there are no reasonable grounds to suspect money laundering then he shall mark the report accordingly and give his consent for any ongoing or imminent transactions to proceed.
5.18 All disclosure reports referred to the MLRO and reports made by him to the National Crime Agency must be retained by the MLRO in a confidential file kept for that purpose for a period of five years.
5.19 The MLRO commits a criminal offence if he knows or suspects, or has reasonable grounds to do so, through a disclosure being made to him, that another person is engaged in money laundering of whom he knows the identity or the whereabouts of laundered property in consequence of the disclosure, that the person or property's whereabouts can be identified from that information, or he believes, or it is reasonable to expect him to believe, that the information will or may assist in such identification and he does not disclose this as soon as practicable to the National Crime Agency .