As featured in KYC360 news and reported in The Times, hundreds of young and vulnerable people are being exploited and used as couriers in criminal operations, in which urban gangs move drugs to provincial towns and villages.
The report by BAE Systems Applied Intelligence states that "the County lines is a massive problem with an estimated 27,000 children involved in the UK and requires a response on all fronts to tackle this issue at scale". The BAE lite report can be downloaded here.
It is important not only for banks but any organisation captured by the Money Laundering Regulations, to understand the behaviours of their customers and transaction flows. In this case, the behaviours of drug runners, so that banks can better detect and disrupt drug trafficking criminal activity and pass actionable insights onto law enforcement.
In a similar vein, my colleague Colette Kelly recently posted a piece on money mules, smurfs and organised crime.
Please note this article was written by Annette Fong, who is no longer with Ince. If you would like any advice in this regard, please contact Julia Dao.
Banks should check the accounts of young teenagers and flag up suspicious activity to police to help gather intelligence that could bust county lines, experts say.