HMRC issues record £23.8m fine for money laundering breaches

Economy & Politics | Legal | South East

Today, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published the latest list of businesses handed fines for breaching strict regulations aimed at preventing criminals from laundering illicit cash.

The list includes money transfer company MT Global Limited, which has been handed the largest ever fine issued by HMRC, for significant breaches of the regulations between July 2017 and December 2019 relating to risk assessments and associated record-keeping; policies, controls and procedures; and fundamental customer due diligence measures.

Nick Sharp, Deputy Director of Economic Crime, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Businesses who fail to comply with the money laundering regulations leave themselves, and the UK economy, open to attacks by criminals. Money laundering is not a victimless crime. Criminals use laundered cash to fund serious organised crime, from drug importation to child sexual exploitation, human trafficking and even terrorism.

“We’re here to help businesses protect themselves from those who would prey on their services. That includes taking action against the minority who fail to meet their legal obligations under the regulations as this record fine clearly shows. HMRC supervises more than 30,000 businesses across the UK, including 1,500 principal money service businesses (MSBs), and helps these firms protect themselves from criminals who seek to launder cash or finance terrorism.”

In 2019 to 2020 HMRC completed 2,000 interventions on supervised businesses, issued penalties totalling £9.1m and stopped 89 non-compliant businesses and individuals from trading. It also recouped over £166m from the proceeds of crime, of which more than £22m was linked to money laundering offences.

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