U.S. Embassy, London
October 16, 2014
In 2005, United Kingdom (UK) authorities began a financial investigation targeting a Dubai, UAE-based money laundering network after drug investigations determined that the organization was providing illicit financial services to multiple, otherwise unrelated, Drug Trafficking Organizations throughout Europe. This effort evolved into a bilateral joint investigation between the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), as well as multilateral, joint investigation involving the Italian Guardia di Finanza, the Spanish National Police and the Dubai Police Money Laundering Unit.
British officers shared intelligence and evidence regarding the organization with the DEA New York Field Division. That evidence and intelligence were essential to the DEA’s preparation of an affidavit for the seizure of 14 commodity futures accounts located at Man Financial Inc. in 2007. Man Financial was a commodities and futures exchange brokerage house in New York. The total value of the seized accounts was over $6.1 million U.S. dollars.
Following the seizure, UK investigators assisted DEA New York in developing evidence and responding to legal challenges by defense counsel in the United States to the government’s forfeiture case.
The assistance of the United Kingdom was of critical importance and an essential element in prosecuting this case. The operation was a success, and could not have been possible without the cooperation of SOCA, which became part of the new National Crime Agency (NCA) last year.
The U.S. Department of Justice recently announced the sharing of forfeited proceeds with the United Kingdom in connection with the above described seizures, which have completed the forfeiture process. As a result, the Department of Justice, Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, approved the sharing of $907,503.70 to the Home Office of the United Kingdom, and the proceeds were wire-transferred in September 2014. This amount totaled approximately £564,013 at time of transfer.
Director of the NCA’s Border Policing Command, David Armond, said: “Money laundering networks are international in nature, so we have to take an international approach to tackling them, and that means working with law enforcement colleagues across the globe to track cash generated by organised crime. In this particular case our relationships with the US DEA and the Dubai police were crucial. Dubai is a major financial hub for money leaving the UK for Asia, so the Dubai authorities are important partners. This money, which would otherwise have lined the pockets of criminals, will now be reinvested into the law enforcement agencies directly tasked with stopping them.”
NOTE TO EDITORS: Full set of photographs available on our Flickr account.