19 Apr, 2023 @ 15:49
1 min read

Gibraltar regulators fine local estate agent over money laundering ‘breaches and deficiencies’

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GIBRALTAR’S crackdown on money laundering continued this week when it fined an estate agent for not putting the right checks in place to prevent the use of black money.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) fined J. Boyd Estate Agency Limited £750 but because it did not pay in time it was forced to name and shame the business.

During 24 visits to real estate agents in the past year, the OFT fined eight of them a total of £11,500.

The clampdown on money laundering follows international pressure on the Gibraltar Government.

Inspectors judge businesses for their Anti-Money Laundering, Combatting the Financing of Terrorism, and Counter Proliferation Financing (AML/CFT/CPF) obligations.

During the inspection at the J. Boyd Estate Agent in August 2022, the OFT found no direct evidence of money laundering or terrorist financing.

But the regulator said in a statement that inspectors ‘identified several breaches and deficiencies’ in the way the company managed their properties.

That gave them them enough reason to push forward with the fine, being in breach of the AML/CFT/CPF legal obligations.

The OFT asked real estate agents to ‘familiarise themselves’ with the guidance and legal obligations on its website.

The government office said it was ready to answer any questions businesses might have.

This latest fine follows a December update by the OECD’s Financial Action Task Force.

It recommended the Gibraltar authorities to ‘pursue more final confiscation judgments’ from businesses without the right checks in place.

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