11 Feb 2020
Border crime gangs are using cash-strapped farmers to help launder their ill-gotten gains, it has been claimed.
Money laundering on the Border has reached epidemic levels and with Brexit on the horizon police, customs and tax authorities believe the money transfer business is set to explode further.
However, it has now been claimed that the farming industry has become embroiled in the illicit cash trade.
Crime gangs traditionally used bureau de change posts, hair salons and taxi businesses to launder money but with the introduction contactless payments this avenue has all but closed. However, it has now been claimed that livestock marts, where cattle and sheep can still change hands for cash, have become the new sanctuary for organised crime.
A senior bank official in a town close to the Border said a number of bank accounts held by some members of the farming community routinely hold upwards of a million pounds, often much more.
The accounts are filled and emptied on a regular basis, lodgements are made in cash with the explanation being the sale of livestock.
“It’s simple,” said our source, “I might have half a dozen cows worth £12,000, I sell to a friend who pays me £100,000 because that’s what he thinks they’re worth.
By Paula Mackin, Irish Independent, 11 February 2020
Read more at Independent.ie
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