An undercover investigation into overseas money laundering has targeted a number of high end estate agents in the capital.
Due to air on Channel 4 tomorrow night (Wednesday 8th), the hour-long film apparently involves a reporter posing as a Russian government minister looking to buy a super-prime property in a top London neighbourhood with “stolen” cash.
UPDATE: Watch the full show on Channel4.com here.
Directed and produced by Dan Reed, whose previous work includes hard-hitting documentaries like The Paedophile Hunter and Terror In The Mall, the programme will employ secret cameras set up in multiple positions to show how local agents deal with the “minister” and his bogus purchase.
It seems the reporters viewed five different properties across Kensington, Chelsea and Notting Hill ranging from £3m to £15m, on the market with five different west London agents.
It’s being billed by the broadcaster as follows:
An undercover reporter poses as a Russian government minister to investigate increasing evidence that London’s property boom is being partly fuelled by overseas buyers laundering money.
Yesterday, Reed tweeted simply:
London. Money laundering. Property. From makers of BAFTA winning The Paedophile Hunter.
Produced by Amos Pictures, “From Russia With Cash” will air at 10pm on 8th July on Channel 4.
You can check out a preview here.
UPDATED (8th July 2015): The National Association of Estate Agents has swung into action on the back of the documentary, launching an investigation into the companies featured.
Mark Hayward, managing director of the NAEA: “We do not condone the behaviour of the agents in the documentary From Russia with Cash and it is regretful that a small number of negligent agents tarnish the reputation of the industry as a whole.
“All agents should know that they have a responsibility to report any potential money laundering activities to the National Crime Agency and failure to do so, or to enable such an action, is a criminal act.
“We take a dim view of members thinking they are above the law.
“Our members agree to comply with professional standards and we operate a range of sanctions to any breach of those standards.
“In the case of anti-money laundering, members would face a disciplinary process which could involve expulsion and a fine of up to €5m.
“As a consequence of this documentary we will be carrying out our own investigation and, if needs be, we will not refrain from taking the strongest appropriate action possible.”