Two-week crackdown launched in battle against money laundering

Cambridgeshire Police launch two-week money laundering crackdown

Residents across Cambridgeshire are being encouraged to spot the signs of money laundering amid a two-week police crackdown. - Credit: Cambridgeshire Police

Residents across Cambridgeshire are being encouraged to spot the signs of money laundering amid a two-week police crackdown. 

Cambridgeshire police’s fraud and cyber-crime teams began the campaign today (Monday) in partnership with the Home Office, the government and other police forces. 

The action is part of Operation Plutus to raise awareness and disrupt money laundering from taking place. 

“Money laundering is not a victimless crime,” detective inspector Tom Rowe, of the digital cyber directorate’s investigation branch, said. 

“Aside from hurting the hard-working British taxpayer, it also helps sustain wider criminal activity, which see people exploited and abused.” 

Police officers will work to raise awareness of the crime and help people spot the signs to try and catch criminals, through preventative activity or pursuing criminals themselves. 

“It is already a part of drug supply, organised immigration offences and burglaries and, as such, its investigation can sit amongst these cases,” Det Insp Rowe said. 

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“With awareness and focus, we can make Cambridgeshire a difficult place to commit this offence.  

“Our activity will include enforcement activity involving local officers, preventative advice to schools and colleges and wider public awareness.”  

Here’s a list of signs of money laundering that individuals and businesses in Cambridgeshire can look out for: 

- Unusual transactions or financial activity, which seem out of character  

- Large cash deposits or bank balances with little or seemingly little knowledge of where the funds came from  

- Cashier’s checks or money orders purchased with large sums of cash  

- Evasiveness or defensiveness around financial information or details when asked  

- Discrepancies in information, such as multiple or unverified identification documents  

- Complicated financial transactions to confuse or throw investigators off the scent by hiding the source of the funds 

- Large sums of investment with no explanation for the funding 

Money laundering is the process of changing or filtering large sums of money obtained through organised criminal activity to make it appear like it came from a legitimate source. 

Around £12 billion in cash is thought to be laundered in the UK each year. 

For more information on fraud, including money laundering and where to report it, visit: https://bit.ly/3rEOo9R.