Estate agents in Gibraltar are facing fines between £6,400 and £15,000 after breaching anti-money laundering rules.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) on The Rock says it has issued eight fines to agents totalling £11,500, and is poised to impose six more.
Inspections at 24 offices have resulted in the fines for offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2015 and the Sanctions Act 2019 to prevent money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing.
The OFT has also updated its anti-money laundering guidance for the real estate sector, with new advice on conducting customer due diligence, source of funds and counter-proliferation financing.
In March, the OFT imposed a £7,000 financial penalty on local real estate agent, KS Investments (Gibraltar) Limited trading as Kristina Szekely International Realty.
The penalty was issued due to the OFT identifying various breaches and deficiencies in the manner the business implemented its anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism obligations.
The breaches and deficiencies were identified as part of a visit conducted at the business’s premises. Another, unnamed, agent was fined £5,000 in 2020 for AML breaches.
Gibraltar is a famously tight-kinit community with just 32,000 people living and working in an area of 2.6 square miles. There are just under 30 estate agents, with several well-known UK firms such as Savills and Chesterton.