Following the news that a Leeds businessman was found to be laundering £10m through property deals, anti-money laundering (AML) business SmartSearch says the flaws in the protections in place are showing.

Martin Cheek, managing director at SmartSearch, said: “The case of Mansoor Mahmood Hussain, known as ‘Manni’, clearly demonstrates the huge gaps in protection against money laundering that exist in the property market, through which criminals are able to pour millions of pounds a year.

“It also highlights, again, that while some may think financial crime is ‘victimless’ because it involves moving cash through property and banks, the reality is that it funds some of the despicable criminal activity in the country.

John Dobson SmartSearch

SmartSearch: Banks must change approach to AML

“That just one man was able to amass such an amount of wealth through illicit property deals shows how widespread the problem is if you multiply that across the number of criminals involved in this activity across the country and the rest of the world.”

However, Cheek added that these gaps in protection against money laundering are not impossible to fill.

He said: “Despite the threat from money laundering criminals being higher than ever before, the fact is it has never been simpler for companies to protect themselves and carry out the most basic checks, electronically, which would stop it at the front door.

“SmartSearch has pioneered the most advanced, triple layered anti-money laundering platform which takes two seconds to perform a personal ID check.

“Increasing use of technology ensures businesses comply with all the current regulation and protects against criminal activity.”