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UK Lawyer Faces £15,000 Fine for Breach of Anti-Money Laundering Protocols

Kalwant Chauhan (Tony), a legal practitioner associated with London-based firm Bowling & Co, is under scrutiny from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), resulting in a £15,000 fine. The penalty stems from Chauhan's failure to adhere to robust anti-money laundering (AML) protocols and conduct proper client due diligence (CDD) in property transactions associated with potential money laundering activities.

UK Lawyer Faces £15,000 Fine for Breach of Anti-Money Laundering Protocols

The SRA's sanctions are specifically tied to five conveyancing transactions overseen by Chauhan between April 2017 and May 2019. Notably, the SRA expressed concern over the ambiguity surrounding the actual client due to the absence of adequate CDD. Chauhan allegedly accepted instructions from an individual guiding the transactions, despite this person not being formally involved in the legal proceedings.


The transactions in question raised red flags, as they exhibited unusual features indicative of potential money laundering. For instance, payments from unrelated third parties, including one from a high-risk money laundering jurisdiction, were made directly into the firm's client account, introducing an element of suspicion.

COMPANY FORMATION &   DOMICILATION SERVICES

The SRA's investigation identified various compliance lapses on Chauhan's part. These included a failure to conduct adequate CDD, ongoing AML checks, and comprehensive risk assessments. Additionally, insufficient scrutiny of third parties sending funds and a lack of meticulous transaction records were observed. These oversights, according to the SRA, left the law firm susceptible to money laundering risks, presenting a potential threat to the public interest and diminishing confidence in the legal profession.


The case highlights the critical importance of stringent AML measures within legal practices to safeguard against illicit financial activities and maintain the integrity of the legal profession.

By fLEXI tEAM

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