Money laundering in the real estate market: also an issue beyond the Netherlands

21 mei 2019

In the Netherlands, real estate companies that become involved in money laundering are subject to serious fines. If you think the Netherlands is the only country in this position, you would be mistaken. Even outside the borders, a variety of money laundering tactics are strictly monitored.

How do criminals exactly conduct money laundering? 

Money laundering = concealing the origins of illegally obtained or stolen money in order to invest it.

Criminal methods

Despite rigorous screening for money laundering methods, criminals still actively engage in laundering. They go to work in a variety of ways within the real estate market. How? A few examples:

  • The laundering of criminal assets through the purchase and sale of real estate or using fraudulent income information to help secure a (much higher) mortgage.
  • Hiding behind complex company structures in order to conceal real estate transactions.

 

Money laundering in action

In the Netherlands, money laundering is still a huge problem. This past year, 16 billion euro was laundered, according to Wopke Hoekstra, the Dutch Minister of Finance. With the cooperation of other countries, the Minister wants to examine whether the issue can be completely eliminated in order to avoid major financial damage.


Laundering also happens in the United Kingdom. It is considered an offence regardless of whether parties (un)knowingly or (un)willingly become involved in such activities.

Every year, the ‘Proceeds of Crime Act 2002’ leads to:

  • 7,900 investigations;
  • 2,000 prosecutions; and
  • 1,400 criminal convictions related to money laundering.

 

Prevent money laundering

Criminals presumably have one shared goal: to launder as much money as possible. Especially organisations dealing with large amounts of money are an obvious target. Particularly as a bank or as a real estate broker, you are at risk of becoming entangled in the money laundering activities of criminals. This can lead to serious financial repercussions for your company, not to mention damage to your public image.

Thankfully, there are ways to prevent money laundering. DataChecker has developed a solution that diminishes the risk of financial loss for your bank or brokerage. One solution to this problem is the combination test.

The combination test verifies identity documents, combined with a consumer check that offers insights into a person’s financial position.


Would you like to learn how we can prevent money laundering tactics from being used within your organisation? Contact DataChecker for more information. Our team of specialists is at your service!