28 Jan 2020
HM Revenue & Customs has helped uncover £200m worth of suspected tax evasion and money laundering in the UK.
The action — which occurred as part of a series of investigations in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the US and the UK — is centred around a Central American financial institution whose products and services are believed to be facilitating tax evasion and money laundering worldwide.
HMRC believes a number of UK clients are using this institution to conceal and transfer wealth anonymously to evade tax obligations and launder the proceeds of crime, with UK funds alone worth £200m.
As part of the action, which took place this week (January 22), HMRC officers used a search warrant in the Stoke area and arrested a man as part of their enquiries.
The 59-year-old, who was arrested on suspicion of cheating the public revenue and money laundering, was questioned but has since been released pending further enquiries as investigations are ongoing.
HMRC also visited several businesses and sought information from them to assist with their ongoing investigations.
The operation is the first major activity from the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement — also known as the J5 — which was established to tackle international tax crime and money laundering.
The J5 brings together tax, crypto and cyber experts to target those who enable global tax evasion by gathering information, sharing intelligence and collaborating on operations.
According to HMRC this week’s operation helped gather “significant information” and it expects further criminal, civil and regulatory action would arise in each country.
By Imogen Tew, FT Adviser, 24 January 2020
Read more at FT Adviser
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