Buying and selling high-value assets such as antiques, fine art, jewellery and watches are attractive for criminals because such transactions can avoid interaction with the financial sector.
In particular, these types of assets may be easily hidden and/or can be transferred to third parties with limited documentation.
Valuable assets of this type generally hold or improve their value if resold at a later date.
High-risk red flags include significant or frequent use of cash to purchase valuable commodities and assets, which can then be resold to disguise the origin of illicit funds.
Criminals may also buy high-value goods such as art, antiques, jewellery, watches and clocks then travel overseas with them to transfer value while avoiding detection.
Auctioneers and brokers in these assets must ensure the organisation conducts a comprehensive ML/TF risk assessment to identify, assess, mitigate and manage ML/TF risk exposures as a critical first step in complying with AML/CFT laws.