Police alert for crime in futures market

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The Independent Online
FEARS that the London futures market is 'ripe for infiltration' by organised crime gangs and money launderers are to be investigated by the National Criminal Intelligence Service.

Detective Inspector Graham Saltmarsh, head of the service's organised crime unit, said disclosures of suspicious transactions and the concern of people in the City and market commentators had indicated the need for a long-term study.

He stressed that he was not suggesting there was a problem in the futures market now, but it was important to ensure that any potential risk was minimised. The NCIS initiative was unveiled yesterday along with a review of its activities against all kinds of organised crime.

Geoff Turner, of the Securities and Futures Authority, said: 'We echo the DI's comments, and we do not think that there is an immediate problem. But we have written to all our members, telling them how to co-operate with the new EC money-laundering directives.'

European Commission directives coming into force this year require all financial institutions to report cash transactions over a certain amount, and impose a duty on them to report any suspicious transaction.

Other new NCIS projects include investigating whether there was a risk that organised crime was infiltrating the highly profitable toxic waste industry, and monitoring the planned National Lottery to ensure that criminal elements, who traditionally infiltrate the gaming industry, do not put it at risk.