The government has announced plans to crack down on money laundering in the UK, warning high street solicitors, accountants and estate agents.
Security minister Ben Wallace has told schools, football clubs and luxury garages to report irregularities and remove the “status” of those who have made their money from illegal activity.
The government plans to inject £48 million of cash in order to enhance the law enforcement response.
A recent assessment found that serious and organised crime costs the UK economy £37 billion every year.
“The ones who pretend their hands aren’t really dirty and profit from moving dirty money and knowingly conspire … they’re cowards to pretend they’re nothing really to do with it,” Wallace told the Guardian.
“They are the ultimate. It’s like the McMafia programme, they comfort themselves by being at wonderful events and not getting their hands dirty, but their hands are as dirty as the person trafficking the child that they’re making their money from.”
“We’re going to make sure that people who are proactively being facilitators are at the front of our queue as much as the actual nominals of the organised crime groups and we’re going to do everything we can to prosecute them.”
Wallace emphasized hopes to eliminate offenders from money laundering and illegal cash to enhance their reputations.
“Part of that is going after the status. If all you can go shopping with is a Tesco Clubcard, you’re not really much of a gangster are you?”
“If you’re denied your ability to spend your ill-gotten gains, if you can’t go and buy a flash car or a box at a sporting event or a nice house in Belgravia, if you can’t do any of that then you strip away the ability for them to launder their reputation.”
“We need to go after the people who have not played their part in hardening the environment and reporting. So the purveyors of luxury goods, the public schools, the sporting institutions, who don’t ask many questions if suspicious people come along with cash or other activities, we will come down on them,” he added.