WHO BANKED THE CASH? Barclays Bank hands £50m of 'criminal cash' to NCA after no name court case
THE National Crime Agency (NCA) has obtained a ruling from the High Court that allows Barclays Bank to hand over suspected criminal funds - amounting to over £50m - to the agency despite no one knowing where the money originates from.
The ruling in the civil recovery case has been described as the first of its kind.
An NCA spokesman said: "The civil recovery order means that, for the first time, legal powers were used to recover the proceeds of crime where the account holders were not named in the court action.
"The funds were identified in a number of accounts used in suspicious transactions. The original source of the money could not be identified so the bank transferred the sums to secure holding accounts."
Adrian Searle, Director of the National Economic Crime Centre (NECC) in the NCA, said: “Identifying and recovering funds and assets linked to criminal activity is a priority for the NCA. This High Court ruling is a great example of how the public and private sector can work together to recover proceeds of crime. The proactive identification of these funds by Barclays was the reason we could take this action. The money will be credited to the public purse and a portion used to fund a range of work including programmes designed to prevent fraud and protect potential victims.
“The NECC will continue to work with the financial and regulated sectors to identify and recover illicit finance, using all the tools at our disposal.”
A Barclays spokesperson said: “We are vigilant in rooting out and identifying any criminal activity. We welcome the High Court’s ruling, which enables the funds to be transferred to the NCA to support further their efforts in stopping fraud and economic crime”.