Crime ain’t what it used to be

Recently the UK government published its first AML National Risk Assessment.  In its introductory look at the UK crime sector, it observes that “the number of armed robberies at banks and buildings societies has declined in the last decade” while “fraud and tax offences are the largest known source of criminal proceeds from offending in the UK”.  This is no surprise at all for those of us who have been in AML for a while, and even telly drama makers have cottoned on to the fact that modern criminals favour “low detection, low penalty, high profit” crimes.  Watching someone hack into bank websites on a computer is not terribly gripping visually, so crime dramas tend to wax nostalgic *wobbly lines to indicate going back in time*.

Over the summer, ITV showed a three-part story called “The Trials of Jimmy Rose” starring Ray Winstone – a man born to play old-school criminals if ever I saw one.  He is released from prison after serving a twelve-year stretch for armed robbery, and comes out – as the promo material has it – into a changed world.  His grandson has to teach him how to use a smartphone, his wife has had an affair with a policeman, and his best friend – “the world’s worst money launderer” – has lost all of their “earnings” in a disastrous property deal in Spain.  Will Jimmy be able to stay away from crime?  What do you think?  Luckily for Jimmy, he stumbles into an area of crime that still requires his particular hard man skills – stealing drug money from other criminals.  But he’d be lost trying to set up a multi-layered securities fraud involving SPVs and any country other than Spain.

We saw a gang of real-life Jimmys at work over Easter this year, plying their trade in the old way as they tunnelled into vaults in Hatton Garden and pinched the contents.  But one by one they have been picked up – and of the nine charged with the robbery, two are in their sixties and two in their seventies.  The baby of the gang is 48.  They did rope in some young ’uns to do the laundering: three in their forties and one of 35.  Perhaps fittingly, some of the loot has just been found in a cemetery…

This entry was posted in Money laundering, Organised crime and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Crime ain’t what it used to be

  1. Roy McCarthy says:

    Makes one quite nostalgic really. The MO in Ireland is to rob ATMs by bashing in the wall with a digger and making off with the whole thing. None of your fancy layering.

  2. Pingback: Confession is good for the soul | I hate money laundering

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