On 24 January 2023, the National Crime Agency (NCA) published its latest Suspicious Activity Report (SARs) Annual Report.

Among other things the report notes:

  • The last financial year saw 901,255 SARs received and processed – a 21% increase on the previous year.
  • £305.7M denied to suspected criminals as a result of Defence Against Money Laundering (DAML) requests – a 120.6% increase on the £138.6M denied in 2020-21.
  • In 2022, the NCA set up the new Combatting Kleptocracy Cell, with a remit that includes the investigation of criminal sanctions evasion and high end money laundering.
  • The financial and predicate crimes intelligence provided by SARs has proved to be invaluable as criminals sought to take advantage of the pandemic to advance their illicit enterprises. More recently, as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, SARs have provided increasingly important information on money laundering linked to sanctioned individuals and their associated entities.