The owner of a money services bureau in Dudley has been jailed for 12 months for failing to comply with regulations to help combat money laundering.
Paramjit Singh Sangha, who runs PS Gold Exchange, failed to carry out the legal checks required under Money Laundering Regulations (MLRs) before transferring up to £400,000 of his clients’ money to India.
Despite being reminded of his obligations during visits from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), he did not verify the identity of all his customers, failed to keep supporting documentation and neglected to train his staff to spot suspicious activity.
Colin Booker, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:
“MLRs exist to prevent businesses being used for money laundering purposes by criminals. People who run money services bureaux are required to take extra care when transferring larger sums of money, to help prevent criminally obtained cash from being laundered outside the UK.
“HMRC officers visited Sangha on several occasions and advised him that he needed to take more care. He chose to ignore us, which is why he found himself in court.”
Sangha was arrested by HMRC officers in October 2013. At a hearing in September 2014 he pleaded guilty to four charges of failing to comply with MLRs. He returned to Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday (14 November), where he was jailed for 12 months.
Notes for editors
1. Paramjit Singh Sangha, DOB 20.09.1961 of Spring Parklands, Dudley, West Midlands. Sangha trades as PS Gold Exchange.
2. Most money service businesses that exchange currency, transmit money or cash cheques for their customers are required to comply with MLRs. This includes registering with HMRC and undertaking appropriate checks and measures to prevent money laundering.
3. Further information is available at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/mlr/index.htm
4. HMRC’s Flickr channel: www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk
5. Follow HMRC’s Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice
Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.
HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.