UK keeps its promise to jail officers for non-compliance with money laundering laws – likely world’s first incarceration over AML/CTF regulatory compliance failures

By Christine Duhaime | November 17th, 2014

In what may be a world first, a UK Court has jailed the officer and owner of a money services business essentially for failing to comply with regulatory requirements for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing.

Paramjit Singh Sangha, who operated a money services business called PS Gold Exchange in England, failed to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations in the transfer of £400,000 to India on behalf of clients. The HM Revenue & Customs agency discovered that Mr. Sangha failed to verify the identity of his customers, failed to keep AML/CTF records and did not train staff at the money services business on how to detect suspicious transactions. For that he was charged in October 2013, and subsequently pleaded guilty to four charges of violating the Money Laundering Regulations. He was incarcerated for a term of 12 months on Friday.

In August, the HMRC revised its money services guidance to make officers personally liable for anti-money laundering compliance failures.

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