Just one pound in every £6,120 netted by organised criminals is recovered by the CPS, according to research by anti-money laundering and Big Data specialist Fortytwo Data.
A third of a billion pound was seized from convicted criminals, including money launderers, drug offenders and fraudsters, by the Crown Prosecution Service over the last five years.
But rising fraud is estimated to cost UK victims £193bn a year and money laundering more than £90bn annually, according to the National Crime Agency.
This means prosecutors only confiscated 0.02% of fraudsters’ cash, according to the latest annual statistics for 2016. That’s the same proportion of money launderers’ criminal proceeds seized last year too.
Between 1 January 2012 and 30 June 2017, the CPS seized £354,254,658 in ‘dirty money’ under the Proceeds of Crime Act, figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request show.
Partial figures for 2017 are also now available, and in the first half of the year £36,231,069 was confiscated from offenders at a rate of £1,449,242 a week - an increase of 29% since 2012.
The figures did not include orders by the National Crime Agency and orders obtained under other legislation. Overall seizures by the authorities reportedly total up to £201m.
The NCA has said in the past that it is difficult to recover funds because they are often hidden overseas.
Julian Dixon, CEO of anti-money laundering and big data specialists Fortytwo Data, said: “The sums of dirty cash being seized from criminals are miniscule when compared to the real cost of financial crime.
“Victims should be demanding more of their haul is recovered because crime shouldn’t pay.”
“And although money laundering comes second to fraud in the CPS figures, it is the tool every member of organised crime needs to profit from their offences and should be pursued with far greater vigour.”
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