Money Laundering or Don’t be a Money Mule

“Money Laundering is the process by which criminal proceeds are sanitised to disguise their illicit origins. Acquisitive criminals will attempt to distance themselves from their crimes by finding safe havens for their profits where they can avoid confiscation orders, and where those proceeds can be made to appear legitimate.” - CPS definition.


Money Mule Image

What is a money mule?

The normal approach by Organised Crime gangs and criminals is to approach you or a friend to pay some money into your personal bank or building society account and then transfer it to another account.

Similarly, you may get an unsolicited social media contact, email, advertisement or a friend may say there is an easy way to make some money by giving your bank account details. You will then be given a sum of money as a “handling fee”.

If you pay someone else’s money into your account or an account you are responsible for and transfer it on, you could be money laundering if it is found to be the result of criminal activities.

This is covered under the Proceeds Of Crime Act 2002 Part 7 - Money Laundering Offences and if found guilty then you will not only have a criminal record which will affect your future prospects but there is a maximum prison sentence of 14 years imprisonment and a substantial fine.


What are the impacts?

So THINK about

  1. Who is asking you to do this – do you know them?
  2. Why are they asking you to do this? If it sounds too good to be true it probably is!
  3. Do not give anyone your bank account details unless you know and trust them.
  4. If you have been approached and you think it is suspicious, you should contact the Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
  5. If you are a parent or guardian, do not to attempt to contact any individual you suspect of organising money muling and instead contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Further advice can be found at:

Lose your bank account image

14 Years to pay the price

The Estates Department- © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NN, T: +44 (0)1227 764000

Last Updated: 09/09/2020