Money laundering

Organised criminal gangs exist to make money. In some instance this money will be reinvested in the purchase of further criminal commodities, however many organised criminals will also seek to live a lavish lifestyle. In order to allow criminally obtained money to appear as legitimate income it much be laundered.

There are a number of methods used by criminals to launder money in the past they included the use of gift cards and digital currencies.  In recent times the use of "mule accounts" have come to the fore whereby a person's bank account is used to launder money for a small fee. The people who allow their accounts to be used see it as low risk, low harm and an easy way to make money, however if they are caught they could get a 14 year prison sentence.

Last year our law enforcement agencies removed £947 thousand worth of assets away from organised criminals under the Proceeds of Crime legislation. Criminals fear attacks on their profits more than any other law enforcement intervention which is why attacking criminal finances continues to be a key objective for all OCTF law enforcement partners.

Since devolution, the full value of criminal confiscation recovered in Northern Ireland is returned to the Northern Ireland Consolidated Fund (NICF) and the Department of Justice (DoJ) distributes 50% to the agencies concerned, in accordance with established ARIS procedures and the remaining 50% is spent on community projects that help communites affected by crime and to reduce the fear of crime.

In 2017 funding was awarded to 35 projects that met the criteria, audit and goverence requirements.
(list of 2017 projects.)