The National Crime Agency (“NCA”) has published its 2018 SARs Annual Report (that can be downloaded below).
The report sets out:
- Suspicious Activity Reports (“SARs”) reporting statistics by sectors
- key engagements
- how SARs analysis has supported partner agencies
- case studies and
- the plan for 2018-19.
It shows that in the period April 2017 to March 2018:
- in the “Gaming (including casinos)/leisure” sector, “including some not under Money Laundering Regulations”, 2,154 SARs were submitted to the NCA (equivalent to 0.46% of all SARs submitted), representing a 50.63% increase on the total number submitted by this sector in the preceding year, and
- “SARs submitted by regulated and non-regulated gambling” totalled 3,768, representing a 21.9% increase on the previous year, broken down as follows:
- Gaming/leisure: 2,154 (a 50.63% increase on the previous year)
- Bookmaker: 872 (a 20.8% decrease)
- Spread betting: 742 (a 32.5% increase)
The case studies quoted in the report include the following, relating to significant transfers of funds in and out of a gambling account:
A number of SARs were received on an individual raising concerns about a significant amount of transfers in and out of a gambling account and suspicion of receiving fraudulent credits. This was a romance scam investigation and the subject subsequently received a prison sentence for dishonestly making false representation and was found to have benefited from their criminality by almost £1m. The SARs played a significant part in the investigation, identifying bank accounts which formed part of both the criminal investigation and subsequent confiscation.