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How estate agents can combat fraud and money laundering risks

The property sector is often misused by criminals, as it presents options in which to hide the source, disposal and use of their illicit proceeds.

This can pose serious threats to South Africa’s financial system. Due to the nature of the industry, estate agents are identified as being vulnerable to abuse by criminals for purposes of money laundering and terrorist financing, says the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), which is calling on Estate Agents to continue to adopt a risk based approach, and to report any suspicious concerns, as require. 

In an effort to introduce greater transparency and accountability within the South African financial services industry, the Financial Intelligence Centre Act 38 was introduced in 2001 (“FICA”).

"Estate agents can help mitigate the risk of being misused by criminals by fulfilling their FIC Act obligations while at the same time, strengthening their sector. In compliance with these obligations, estate agents must gather sufficient information regarding their clients and their transactions, and where required, report certain information to the FIC."

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