Organised crime groups are turning away from cash based money laundering techniques to trade-based laundering methodologies according to a new report from the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA).

The National Strategic Assessment of Serious and Organised Crime 2017 report also says trade-based and other laundering techniques are increasingly combined to construct ever more elaborate schemes.

Merged and blended

The NCA says that in its assessment, methods of money laundering are being merged and blended, removing lines of demarcation between typologies.

“We are starting to see clear instances of a seamless progression from cash based laundering techniques into trade-based and high end money laundering methodologies. This has been seen to be controlled by individuals overseas previously predominantly associated with cash movements and cash based laundering,” the report says.

Trade-based schemes

It goes on to say that shell companies are used extensively to provide anonymity to criminals engaged in money laundering through capital markets and some trade-based methodologies.

Corrupt professional enablers such as legal, accounting and trust and company services professionals facilitate a range of criminal activity the report explains.

Corrupt bankers

It also identifies a network of corrupt individuals working in banks, who the NCA considers to be key enablers of fraud, market abuse and money laundering.

The UK’s National Strategic Assessment of Serious and Organised Crime 2017 report can be downloaded from here.