The UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) has just released the 2021 National Strategic Assessment (NSA) of Serious and Organised Crime (SOC).
The assessment "uses intelligence from across law enforcement, government, the third sector and private industry to set out the UK’s understanding of the threat posed by organised criminals".
In particular, it sets out the areas where SOC threats are on the increase. This list of increasing threats include
- Bribery, corruption and sanctions evasion
- Cyber crime
- Fraud; and
- Money laundering
It also points out the rise in the use of technology by criminals, both to commit crime and to help avoid detection.
For example, crypto assets are again highlighted as a key weapon in the money launderers armoury, and Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) have not been slow to exploit the anonymous nature of crypto transactions - a concern also reflected by The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in relation to potential sanctions violations when payments are made following ransomware attacks.
The fact that law enforcement has been able to identify and define particular areas of criminal activity that is on the rise is helpful and suggests it would be sensible for companies to also review their controls in the same areas.
If you need help to do that please contact Neal Ysart, Lead Regulatory & Investigations Advisor at email@example.com / Tel: +971 55 138 9250 or your usual Clyde & Co point of contact.
Criminals increasingly used cryptocurrencies to facilitate money laundering, at least in part because the pandemic made it harder to move cash.