Millions in rubbish bags: British bank convicted of money laundering

Millions were smuggled in garbage bags
British bank convicted of money laundering

For years, a gold merchant in Great Britain took advantage of a bank’s drowsiness and smuggled hundreds of millions of cash through the treasury. Since NatWest-Bank does nothing against money laundering, he is now indicted.

Couriers entered the branches with garbage bags: But Britain’s NatWest bank did nothing to stop a gang of criminals in as many as 50 of its branches depositing hundreds of millions of pounds in five years, the FCA said in court. In one case, money envoys withdrew so much cash to the branch in Walsall, central England, that the sacks were shredded and the money repackaged.

365 million pounds, of which 264 million were in cash, ended up in NatWest’s accounts, mostly in small towns, without the bank questioning its origin. In just one branch it was 40 million euros. NatWest must pay a fine of £265 million for money laundering. It is the first British bank ever to be convicted of doing nothing against money laundering.

The Financial Commission said NatWest failed to monitor suspicious activity by a customer – Fowler Oldfield, a Bradford gold dealer and jeweler, who was phased out after a police raid in 2016. In the end, all transactions in the millions were attributable to the business.

The country’s largest commercial bank had already pleaded guilty to three counts in October related to failing to properly examine suspicious accounts of a Bradford gold dealer and jeweler between 2012 and 2016.

It is also exciting because NatWest – at the time Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) – was bailed out by the state during the financial crisis and the majority are still in public sector hands. Alison Rose, president of NatWest, has apologized for deficiencies in oversight of money laundering.

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